Pulp
Katherine Holmes

Crumbling molars
a swallowed incisor
ice cubes of tooth
no longer you
and so realistic

I muse in the morning. How many
gullible times can teeth fall out?
Interpreting nightmare symbol until I am

literally at
the age when
the dessert decade
starts eating at a person

and root canals are emergency exhumings.

A voodoo doll after
uptown’s novocaine humorist
his honeymoon anecdotes.
After the big blond's
expounding on pain

now that I’ve found goody too-studious:

I’m cleaning out the pulp.

Where the delectables were
the come-in word love
the deft trapdoor

pulp dug out and discarded

to make a mannequin tooth.

You will manage a smile that has
tombstones in it, and for
whoever put you through pain.

“Still I have a sour tooth
loved lemon with salt
vinegar on vegetables
dill pickles at movies
that were devoid of pulp.”

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