Root Canal

— Barbara Saxton

Snip. Gouge.
Dry the dead canal.
Kill pain. Chop limb:
the tree survives.

Last night I woke
to the dream knock of intruders
who stormed my brain’s gate
through a bicuspid’s open portal.

My finger grazed sponge enamel:
a throbbing bath toy
one might grab and yank out
from its tub of molten pain.

Dental Mercy Goddess,
focus your magic scope
on misery’s epicenter:
extract the pesky nerve!

I leave with nothing floating
in a vial that might have joined
my growing trophy shelf
of warrior memories.

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