Wisdom Teeth

That time I was marooned
by a toothache – weeping eyes
screwed shut, mouth agape –
I might’ve been taken for someone
in the throes of ecstasy, lying
on the couch with all
the windows open. The weather
was June, and wonderful.
All afternoon I clung to the thread
of the brown thrasher’s song.

Even in extremis it’s simple
to tell a thrasher from his cousin
the catbird: he repeats
almost every improvised line.
Paired phrases sometimes reach
into the low thousands
without repeating.

Pain can sound exactly like
the world, I thought.
Neither can be replicated.
Art lets us exceed
ourselves, and so escape.

both wisdom teeth had to come out.
For a week or two I had to chew
deliberately. Each bite
of food was accompanied
by a mouthful of thought.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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