The Endodontist
She moves about the office
like a happy homemaker,
 
clutching silver tools:
mirrors, vacuums, and shears.
 
She unwraps each device
from sterilized plastic as she would
 
a sandwich from wax paper. 
Her coifed hair rustles above 
 
her neck, floats across the room
and descends as she sits.  
 
She begins her work. 
The charred scent of cloves
 
and metal fills my mouth. 
The hooked instruments 
 
prod and drill.  I am prone 
to her gaze and absolute
 
focus on this one
tiny area of my body, senseless 
 
and bleeding.  I think I know
why this work satisfies her.  
 
A speechless hour passes. 
Then she smiles.  She shakes
 
my hand and turns briskly 
on her heels.  I am unconvinced
 
by the attention she gives  
and crave her practiced reassurance.
 
Alone, I gather my purse and sweater.
My jaw aches.  I feel the need
 
to explain myself, as if 
I have done something terribly wrong.
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