The dentist’s assistant explains
to the trainee that I have a small
mouth. Together, they maneuver
the plastic-sheathed wand tipped
with a circle into my open mouth.
This works like a crosshair—
They fire a short X-ray burst through it,
talking as they work. I am of course
awake. There is sensation in my jaw;
I feel the pull from the retractor.
& Of course it’s hard to talk or answer
back, above the buzz of instruments.