Checkup

She said it was not a cavity but
a ghost interred in the molar.
She asked if I had been around
any fresh graves recently so
I painted a picture of how I
came to collapse at a cemetery
last Sunday night, Monday morning.
I had the police report if needed,
I was in the same pair of jeans.
They were comfortable jeans.

She explained the extraction as
a very simple procedure that
could only be performed at night
outside the border of the city and
inside a ring of string and candles,
involving the usual instruments
soaked in the urine of a dog fed
the first fruits of harvest.

A week preceding I had to carry a
white staff in my left hand.
On the night before I had to sleep
with a pillow between my legs
in a bed shaped like a boar.
The day of I could only eat salt,
only drink gin filtered through wax.

I had to take a maintenance pill on
the day after, then again in forty days,
then in six months, then nine months,
then a year and every year afterwards.
But at least it was not a cavity.

Anthony R Cordello lives and works in Boston. He has work published in decomP magazinE, Jellyfish Review, Jersey Devil Press, Gravel, and The Airgonaut.

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