Reclining in the dentist chair,
far from planet Earth
somewhere near planet nitrous oxide.
I don’t feel the curved metal drills
burrowing into my tooth.

I do feel echoes of pain
in the live part of my tongue.
They’re like memories
from the future or past,
screaming through their deadened state
across time
in one last brilliant gasp for life.

It’s in these death throes
that I listen to the Endodontist
drilling into my jaw,
while the radio plays overhead.
The assistant sings along
to Hall and Oates
and comments that she always thought it was a black group,
“Not saying that white people don’t have soul.”

Blazing new paths into my tooth
and obliterating its nerves,
the Endodontist states,
“No, I know what you mean.”

I am a million miles away in space and humming along with the tune.

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