vendredi 21 novembre 2008

r.i.p. petite dent


poor little eye tooth

you've been through so much:
it was glorious battle!
first you broke on a baguette
still chewy and warm
from the best bakery in paris
a sunday brunch topped with
fromage, if only laughing cow
and me in bliss, so enjoying
that i couldn't believe it!
you broke on the best
baguette I've ever eaten

wise tooth you were
it was a clean break
right below the gum
and i remembered that
a pin and a bit of glue
might secure you to a
second life, might like other
stuff i have lost and won
resurrect out of the ashes of
my will and my sorrow
remain to chew another day
keep me somewhat pretty

so i wrote an email
and sent it out to all
my new parisian friends
and everyone wrote back
with sad stories about
the sorry dentists of paris
until i got anxious
but saïd responded with
a
bonne adresse
1 blvd voltaire
and i telephoned in my timid
french for an appointment

i couldn't believe my
bonne chance when i
rang that bell on the street
and was greeted at that
door, one floor up at the
top of that grand staircase
la petite américaine
with a hole in her mouth
and you in her pouch
more in awe of the
experience than (per habit)
frightened of the dentist

the grand
salle d'attente
was filled with the best art
like a paris exhibition
and a kindly dentist came
and shook my hand
and led me into another
large room as big as my
living, held the film to my
mouth, took the shot
and there it was above me
you or rather half of you
still alive at the root

two visits later
and 150 euros
you were back intact
and i thought you were
worth so much more
but france has a different
pay scale for dentists
i called all my new friends
and flashed them my smile
happy that you were
well again, until one week
later when i ate a baguette

i lived with you broken
for another six months
i was heartsick and
filled with funk
but eventually, back
in the u.s.a., i went to
my own cruel doctor
with his nitrous and his
oxides, and you were formed
with something like
plaster of paris, and you
had your third renaissance

a few months later
i could not bite on you
without wincing in pain
something was wrong
you were oozing and swelling
without anything evident
i was forced to go back
to my nazi dentist and
was told you had to come out
you were broken at the root
fractured somewhere
even if we couldn't see it

i was so attached to you
i couldn't accept your demise
we drove for four hours
to see an endodontist
he took new pictures
gently poked and prodded
until with tears in his eyes
(or were they mine?)
softly explained our
predicament, beautiful
though you were, you
were cracked at the core

so dear eye tooth
i did what i had to do
i bit the bullet and
had you pulled
and there you were
cracked horizontally
and vertically
with a half-inch screw
like an achilles heel
i didn't take you home
instead i shut down
and lamented your loss


as two baguettes,
a good address, and
all my paris friends
flash in my brain
and i think, i at least
should have kept you
in a drawer because
that's as close as i'll get
to loving a tooth
with so many memories
to sustain me through all
the losses yet to come

r.i.p.
petite dent
my beauty is gone
and with it my youth
my paris days,
mes rendez-vous
baguettes and apples
with twelve teeth left
in my large overbite
and a pale, bitter sorrow
that haunts my heart
as i take the
medicaments
that dry out my mouth
and dream of better days


10 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

I love this poem: pain, hunger, remorse, kinship, the mundane and reality - it has it all and so do you! Anne B. Grote

Stirling Davenport a dit…

More fabulous poetry from you. This gives me the shivers! I have lost some beautiful teeth in my day ... I understand how you feel, but you have given us art, much more than sorrow.

enudelman a dit…

Laura, one of your best poems! A true delight... how you take us through your world, on enamel. Great poem, my dear! Ed

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna a dit…

Laura, haven't been able to get my emails thru to you, but wanted to say a BIG thank you for the etsy order and let you know it is on it's way to you. Lots of miracles!
k-

Moineau En France a dit…

thank you, anne; that meant a lot to me. thanks so much, stirling and ed. whew! did i need to write this poem today. xoxoxox

Ron B. a dit…

A very humorous and painful poem that struck a nerve with me... Bravo.

Pris a dit…

I can relate to this..just broke off my own tooth and had it honed down for a crown. Yikes. Good one, Laura!

Jan Hersh a dit…

des memoirs de baguettes
deux dentistes
l'un gentil, l'autre mechant
une histoire si triste
pour la petite dent
la vie est une fete
la vie est une bete
ma la beaute
rest toujours a l'interieur

memories of baguettes, two dentists
one kind, the other awful
a story so sad for the little tooth
life is a party life is a beast
but beauty stays always within

Jan Hersh a dit…

mais la beaute rest toujours...

Anonyme a dit…

I'm an anti-dentite myself having been there. (hard rolls, every time!)

I giggled and winced at the same time with your clever tale of the tooth knacker.