Twenty Haiku for my Dentist

The waiting room is empty. The fish come up for air You beckon me. Clouds through frosted glass. Your partners, indifferent., walk through in white coats. Around me, you place the bib. I am not demeaned Beneath, we’re human. You leave the room to take a picture of me. Please take me in profile. The taste of metal on my tongue. I learn the physics of attraction. My hand clutches my arm a little tighter. You talk above the whirr. These words somehow slow the drill as you repeat them, somewhere above me. The grinding drill you call my favourite part. How did you know? ‘A rough guess.’ You are older than you look. It doesn’t bother me and then it does. The outside world has become the task. You fix the clamp inside my mouth. Anaesthetic. My present self is a swirling one. I smell your hair. Camille Claudel you’d maim me, were I Rodin, and make me think again. Cautiously, I eye the nurse. She makes amalgam. No jealous sparkle. One fact cannot escape me. That warmth at my temple must be your breast. The radio holds the room’s stasis. Sweet lyrics – Your instruments’ names. You ask me to take a heavy bite. Peep inside my cheek now, voyeur. Your gloved fingers track my lips, but never trace. Now, come outside with me. Your name on the plaque outside. The pub across the street has just opened. With moist hands, I hold my numb face. Winter sunlight is claiming the street. Reluctantly, I submit your small signature on the prescription. Roddy Lumsden


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