Pulling Teeth

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Pulling Teeth

Published In: The Journal Volume 44.1, Winter 2020

©2020 Susan Milchman

i am small & animal     working a tooth

back & forth     over a pocket of pulp

my tongue     relentless     in pursuit

& purpose           flip  flap     flip      flap

a wobbly woe     hanging from a tender root

gums swollen in the job     of letting go

this loose     little bit     of body

it’s a canine bicuspid.     you tell me


i don’t care     to know     how easily

the mouth can overtake

settle down.     it’s just a baby tooth.

let me take a look.

i open my mouth     & you pluck it out

lightning fast        like a pick pocket

it’s painless.   you tell me


if you don’t know it’s coming.   

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