Wednesday, April 26, 2006

going to the dentist in Nogalles, Sonora

crossing the border
there’s a dirty little triangular piece
of concrete and ground
beside a building where
like a premoniton of the beggars blind musicians street
peddlers and
whores to
follow there is
a young boy
in bronze
one foot on the ground the other flung back
school books flapping beside
mouth open face flung up and back
no inscription no artist credits no explanation
of what he is running from or to
the dentist asks if I’m nervous
I say yes
because your teeth grind at night he says as HE
grinds my teeth
to put buildup on them
my legs & arms sweat
he offers novocaine
I refuse I figure I’ve done too much
escaping and pain is one of the few
real things left he
grinds away laughing
at the face I make he makes
a nightguard for me shakes
hand looking right thru my
teeth to my dream self that lives in the same
impoverished country
he does I walk
back across the border feeling
nameless unimportant the guard
doesn’t even bother
questioning me
back in Tucson I ask the woman working
the juice bar why people
grind their teeth she says
it’s all the little things
we stuff and carry
what can you do about it I ask
the fat woman on my left says
prayer and meditation
points and says the left side of her teeth
is worn down from it I think
of all the things I could not and can not say
in relationships piling up until
they hang off me like books
I can’t read
for running in
the stress of life the substance of
human disagreement so
impossible to argue
it turns to
stone in our dreams and we
destroy our teeth trying
to eat it


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