Dental Record
By Alexander Johns

(for Dana)

Her smile
opened my heart’s eyes
and it’s the only part of the wedding
I remember.

Inevitably, she had to have a bridge,
so molds were made
and heavy bills were paid.

She knows how nervous it makes me,
the cost,
and in her lovely, domestic compassion
she offers affectionate distractions.

But this plaster mount,
this silly trophy
of an expensive procedure,
the least the dentist could give,
still sits hauntingly on the shelf,
a statue-too-soon,
an extraction
of a very real but unknowable section
of her
that I can’t otherwise see
but that will remain
long after she is truly gone.


I was born (1970) and raised in Atlanta, GA, but in 1999, after years spent traveling as much as possible and as a round peg in the square hole of urban commerce, I moved to the Athens, GA area, where I received my MA in English Literature from the University of Georgia. I currently teach English at Gainesville College. I've had some poems published by Scrivener's Pen. Many thanks.


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