10.3 / May & June 2015

Tilt for Me Please

With its own mind
my tongue wants to love the hygienist’s tiny picks

I milk the rest of my sure insurance
to have a bite splint made (for I am going
out into a place where there will be
gnashing of teeth)
the hygienist asks if I’ve started on my Great American
Novel and I’m experiencing some sensitivity
she aims the x-ray gun at my brain
the long arm gliding from the wall

All my ideas of myself are irrelevant
to the shivering transparent roots shown
now on a glowing field
to be planted in my soft tissue

Here I can be a row of stones
strapped for some span of time to nerves
here I can be told to open
while someone peers in with the brightest light
and gently runs the soft outline of a fingertip
along my feeling bones

The dentist hands me a clear acrylic mold
of the spaces my teeth make
he puts it in my mouth with some blue contact paper
and holds my chin to clack my lower
and upper jaw together like a dummy laughing

And I relax

It’s all
taken care

Claire Eder’s poems and translations have recently appeared in Mead, Midwestern Gothic, The Common, and Guernica. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing a PhD in poetry at Ohio University.
10.3 / May & June 2015