• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 05

Dental Excursions

She was tall but not willowy,
straight backed, legs like sticks,
ankles that fought against the wind.
She was obsessed with her teeth.
Twice a month, she boarded a train
to New York, a two-hour sojourn,
bound for a world of dental hygiene,
handsome men wielding melodious drills
and preaching the benefits of fluoride.
Her best dresses stayed pressed and
crisp in her closet, worn only
for dental excursions and funerals.
She kept a tooth brush in her purse,
cleaned her teeth after every meal,
flossed with vigor and avoided sweets,
determined to defy the imminent death of her incisors.
Most days she was mean, coated in bitterness
that she couldn't scrub from her skin,
but every month, on those two days,
you were guaranteed to see her smile.
Her mouth was pristine.