In the Dentist's Chair

Swirling sparkling lovely in the dark pool
and coming round I realized on its last cycle
as an eddy in the blood or a stately galaxy
wheeling at the edge of the universe and I
awed privileged to witness end and beginning

and then it receded and another swirl
swam into view as I floated away and another
and more all glittering dancing turning together
and more still coming into focus in a grand
infinite arc of spirals in cosmic unison

and all   ohhhh   on the final spin
destined from the beginning   oh oh oh
and that spin completed that cycle done
there would be oh no beginning again
and I could not turn away doomed to see
and know the end of endings as a sound a voice
reached for me but no comfort no none
as oh the inexorable turn to the brink of nothing—

My back felt support, and out of aether
resolving, the dentist called me back
to his chair. My teeth were out. My mouth
was stuffed with gauze or something.
I would enter junior high ready for braces,
and in my future was a perfect smile.

I thought then, and I still think,
a lifetime later, that I was too young
to be shown what I saw.

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