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A Poem: 11:38 pm in the Halfway House 

i can't just leave
this in here justin

i might aspirate on it
in my sleep.

she actually uses the word
aspirate.

i look up into the
dead horseshoe
of her mouth

half her teeth
already gone

there it is
towards back

loose

not too loose.

if she goes to the county hospital
across the street
they won't touch the tooth

they'll just shoot her up with morphine
and tell her come back
when the free dental clinic opens
in the morning.

she tries with a rag

it won't budge.

i have gomez
get a shower curtain
in case there's blood

lambert
holds her head

i clean
the needle-nose pliers
with an alcohol wipe.

there is no blood.

comes out easy

like a piece of corn
off the cob.

hathaway
tosses the tooth in the garbage
and goes to bed

gomez puts the shower curtain back up

lambert
cleans the needle-nose pliers
in the kitchen

i wash my hands
in the bathroom

a little calendar
above the mirror says
it's twelve days
until christmas

whatever
that means.

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Justin Hyde.

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