You are here

Dental Examanation

Sarah Salway

You’re not real. I blink away

Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepburn,

but Katharine will keep hanging on

to the drill so when the dentist

asks for just a little wider,

is it any wonder I tense? It’s like

this. The words are queuing up

in my mouth, and here comes

Elvis fitting in well with his white

jacket. There’s a thump. I glimpse

the dental technician slump to the floor,

flat on her back, but I’m floating high.

See there. Marilyn is back with Arthur.

A lovely couple. And when did I turn

into my mother? So, on cue, my father

takes on the job, leaning over me, hands

on my chin as he lifts my mouth

to his. One sharp blink. Now the dentist

is telling me how it won’t hurt

and I’m shouting he should keep

his room empty, that I won’t carry on

while his nurse could be dead, what sort

of man is he? Just a small prick, he says,

to put you to sleep. Waking to the blood,

I adjust my skirt and leave the ceiling.


From Chroma No 4 (Spring 2006)