Tooth

by Robert Lunday

Published in Issue No. 187 ~ December, 2012

My tooth, as if I had just one,

this one that hurts, speaks to me,

as do all addictions: Come to me, stay away,

return! and I fervently obey.

 

Closing my eyes to ease the pain,

I see it risen like a tomb or monument

without inscription; an enameled brain

backlit by angry searchlights.

 

Soft-maker of my food, gem

of my jaw, masher, grain-grinder:

your heart is one electric nerve

and you have lost your crown.

 

The sky is made of nitrous oxide

and I fall in love with towering nurses,

their Ethiopian or Irish songs,

stardust sparkling through mascara.

 

God rises above the chair,

a bald, ham-fingered tooth-farmer

with nose hairs thick as trees; and you,

molar, when you’re pulled,

 

I’ll bury you in a jar of jawbreakers:

may they eat you always.

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Robert Lunday is the author of Mad Flights (Ashland Poetry Press, 2002). Recent poems appear in Poet Lore, Sweet, and New Madrid. He teaches at Houston Community College and live on a small horse farm with his wife, Yukiko.