I awaken to pain
beneath a perfect crown
everyone said would never fail.
No matter, I’m thinking,
just another lie
I can drown in whiskey
over the weekend,
then call the dentist on Monday.
Perhaps such an ache
will do me good, pull me out
of myself, put me in touch
with a sadness
far below the gum line,
like an iceberg,
looming much larger
the deeper I go.
What lesson
could it possibly offer,
I wonder, until finally,
my dentist says,
open wide, so he can
take it all in.
“It will have to come out,”
he murmurs, studying the x-ray,
“as well as the one
right behind it, too.”

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