He peered down my epiglotis
and spoke briskly with a glottal stop
just here and there
as if the airs deposited at Dental School
had been rinsed away
with pink liquid.

“No injection?” he inquired
knowing my answer would be No.
“Well just yell if you change your mind”
knowing full well I wouldn’t.

He had been the master of my mouth
for 18 amalgamated years
ever since I could afford to pay
for this character building
this stretching and loosening
of my pain threshold.

I had seen his drills go hi-speed
his chairs go hi-tec and full tilt
his landscape photography improve immeasurably
his whiskers grey
his nurses marry
and his rubber apron
cast into the skip,
(though the smell of it
hangs always
like an ethic)

He tied the light plastic bib across my chest
reclined me to the supine position
shone the bright light
into my inner tubes and cavities
and flashed
a tray of stainless probes
towards my chin

his face came
flopping forward
gravity presaging
his fifties
jowl tied up with white paper
eyes absorbing
my wasted cusps

looking past his ear
(vast and lightly dusted with dandruff)
I noticed the silver
bi-planes on the mobile
were flying backwards
and there was a new mountain
over the fireplace

the drilled nerve
gave me spasms
the nurse aspirated
eagerly near the rear
of my tongue,
and I dealt
with the pain
as normal
by opening
wider and wider
to help

later he scaled me and polished me
and found a dark curly hair
stuck behind the porcelain crown
I scrub twice daily
and always after cunnilingus.

Did I detect
a human glimmer of remorse
behind the white mask
that it wasn’t his
but that of some sallow
foreign muck?























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