Published December 31, 2020

Featured Regular Submission

The Dentist Said

by Bruce McRae
(Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada)
Angela Poetry Magazine - "The Dentist Said" by Bruce McRae
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The Dentist Said

Let me hand you your head.
He said your mouth
is Ali Baba’s cavern
filled with treasure beyond measure.
He said I’m not superstitious
but I cross myself
when you open up and face me;
I recite the Act of Contrition.
He said do you eat
with that mouth?
Do you kiss your mother?
He said your mouth
has the River Styx running through it.
It’s an abandoned subway station.
The dentist wiped his brow and said
when you open your mouth
the Kraken wakes.
I’m reminded of ruins underwater.
I see the abyss opening
and congeries of demons.
He said wince then rinse.
He said this is going to hurt
you more than it hurts me.
I thought of warm breezes
rustling grasslands and savannahs.
I thought of drifting snow in the Arctic,
an island in the sun,
its white sands and waters
as warm as blood.
Sunsets the colour of blood.
Blood-stained sunrises –
a sharp shock
woke me from my revery.
Your mouth, the dentist said,
is like a wooden gate
banging in the wind
on a farm in Arkansas.
It’s a hot dry wind,
dust-devils skirling over
drought-ridden fields,
the scent of rain in the air
warning us a storm is coming.
A terrible storm is coming.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring
Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,600 poems
published internationally in magazines such as
Poetry, Rattle, and the
North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets
(Silenced Press); An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow
Like As If (Pski’s Porch); Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

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Previously published in
Angela Poetry Magazine:
"Calamity" by Morgan Driscoll.
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