10-Line Tuesday

May 24, 2011

lessons from dentistry

“You see here,” he says, “where the tooth is starting to wear down?”
I am squinting in the mirror into my mouth’s deeper recesses.
Then he points up to the site of my first root canal, and the crown
that had been fitted there. I remember that afternoon, the stresses
my body had endured to replace what had been broken, how
wide I’d had to open for the drill and filling and the rest of the fix.
“Porcelain always wins over enamel,” the dentist chimes in now,
advising a mouth guard to prevent further damage, and I think about the tricks
we use to combat time, those temporary ploys to triage loss.
“I’ll see you in 6 months,” he says, and sends me on my way with floss.