She meets me with mask already on
Halloween-contrary, it covers her mouth and nose.
Ushered to the very end of the hall
All the while she makes muted chirpy "mmm-humms"
Meant to soothe, or nervous habit?
Placed on the long slippery chair, a dental banana
Metallic arms of lights and trays enfold me
One by one, instruments are laid in neat rows
Instruments for probing, scraping, poking
She clips on the blue paper bib,
Tucking it neatly under my chin
More muted chirpy "mmm-hmms"
He arrives behind me as my head dips back and down
I see only white legs, arms, gloved hands
I close my eyes, succumbing to the mystery
The needle reaches from my palate to my brain
Once, twice, pain to eliminate pain
Muted, chirpy "mmm-hmms"
We begin, drilling away the old.
Inescapable noise, unavoidable smell
Hands come and go, objects come and go
Lips pulled, jaw stretched, back arched, hands clenched
Gloved hands in, gloved hands out
Two hands, three hands, four hands
Rinse, spit, drool
Pick, tap, push
Images, fittings, colors of teeth considered
Test, trim, place and hold
My smile is restored, my crown is complete
And still I have never seen his face.