Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brace Face

A little train ran on my braces and a woman was tied to the tracks.
I could always hear her screaming, the distant chugging of the engine.
The exhaust would become clouds on the roof of my mouth,
When I sneezed I could taste the sulfur and the coal.
In the evenings I would stare at her wiggling in the vanity.
In the mornings I would gently water-pick around her.
She was horrified by my intrusion but she never begged me
To untie her; anyway, I would have probably harmed her.
She was like an angel, so fragile and so lovely.
My mouth always smelled of fresh rain on asphalt.
There were meadows of bacteria on the papillae of my tongue.
I imagined some sort of sun setting and rising.
I was always careful when taking communion.
I never gulped hot soup for fear it would scald her.
The train was always chugging in the distance; it never overtook her.
Where was the masked bandit? I wanted to know.
What kind of conductor never made any progress?
The dentist was puzzled: she took several x-rays.
She said this happens in very few cases, but it is reported.
Your teeth are much straighter and soon you will shed the braces.
On the day that happened a little hero rode up.
He carefully bent down and put his ear to the wire.
Now the train’s headlamp was emerging from my oral cavity.
The hero removed his gloves and whispered something to her.
I was very upset; I realized how much I loved her.
And here was this tiny hero about to untie her.
I closed my mouth and made the sun go down.
I whipped up a storm and made an avalanche threaten.
I could hear the whistle calling closer and closer.
But she was soon free and kneeling and praying.
I felt the urge to sleep, as if she was asking.
She was begging me for some understanding.
The hero was angry and flipping me off wildly.
The conductor was shouting that they be more careful.
And then the dentist finally pulled up the tracks.

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