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September 25, 2023

How My Teeth Came To Be This Way

By Michael H. Brownstein

How My Teeth Came To Be This Way

It came from guns.
When you think it will hurt, it hurts.
When you think it will not hurt, it stops hurting.
The huge headlight heavy metals into your eyes.
Even closed, you can see a brilliant violet with purple lines.
The man over you is giant.
Not basketball giant. Not sumo wrestler giant.
When he picks up his steel instruments, his hands are huge,
but he handles each of them with a tender gentleness.
When he scrapes against bone, you hear it loudly inside your head.
Does he?
He has many sharp tools and a coil of heavy string.
A long time ago, you read a piece of fiction
about cruel spies who captured someone they thought knew their secrets.
They tied him to a chair and began extracting his teeth one at a time.
Tell us, they said, what you know.
He did not know anything.
In the end, they let him live toothless and bloody.

Article © Michael H. Brownstein. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-09-12
Image(s) are public domain.
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