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Root Canal

By Daniel Galvin -

He’s neat and slim,

a handshake like an empty glove.

I am a good patient, grinning

through the shock

when his utensils pick too deep.

I can even be our nurse.

I let the suction tube he clips

around my lip

wither my tongue to Langue de Chat

before I fish it out.

An x-ray glows above his shoulder,

my skull a cave,

each tooth a stalactite

cramped amongst its neighbours,

crooked and lobotomised,

bits taken out.

The image renders blobs

of amalgam, dolloped

where enamel has been gnawed away,

in sugar white

while black chars mark the rot

that eats

and eats

and eats toward the final

tender darkness of the nerve.


Daniel Galvin is from Co.Cork. His writing has been published in The Moth, Acumen, Honest Ulsterman, A New Ulster, The West Texas Literary Review, Cork Words Anthology, Rock and Sling and Ofi Press Mexico. He came first place in the Spoken Word Platform at Cuirt International Literary Festival 2017 and was shortlisted for the Red Line Poetry Competition, 2018.


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