I used to keep my baby teeth in a butterscotch tin.
I guess I was making an investment
in tooth-fairy stock; trying to diversify my easter bunny portfolio.
Quarters: Like chocolate I could feed into a Coinstar and turn to dollar bills
which I could then use to buy more chocolate.
I just, hey, I just remembered that I have a butterscotch tin filled with quarters
sitting in the back of my closet right now. Funny,
when things move in circles like that--I can’t even remember
the last time I ate a butterscotch. Or even how my final tooth
came out, which I’d think would be a milestone.
I was eating an egg-salad sandwich when I lost one of the last ones--
I just took a bite and one tooth stayed behind.
For weeks I couldn’t even look at a sandwich,
I just kept thinking about the disturbing look of blood on mayonnaise.
I wonder if there’s much business for the tooth fairy these days--
my dad, winding blue ribbons around small stacks of quarters so they’d look nice;
my dad, stepping on LEGOs in the dark and stifling swears;
my dad, navigating bedroom geography to make a swift exchange
while I slept and turned a tidy profit, trading old small parts
for riches and a grown-up mouth.
Now I wonder what they did with my wisdom teeth,
after they pulled them out last year.
Were they drilled out, finally, into dust? Or did
a dental surgeon slip some pilfered teeth
beneath his pillow on the sly,
turning one last profit out of my face,
the summer someone noticed
I needed a grown-up mouth?
All I know is that for days
I stayed at home moaning into my pillow,
strung out on percocet and eating anything
that could be sipped through a straw.
(It was only then I discovered the Sonic had stopped
serving butterscotch shakes--years ago, apparently.
You’d think I’d have noticed. But then, you’d think
I’d notice lots of things.)
I wonder how much my teeth would be worth now.
I wonder if the tooth-fairy has adjusted for inflation.
I still get excited over stray quarters,
but now I guess I just have to find them on the street
like everyone else does.
It's been awhile. I stopped posting about a year ago for reasons. I'm not dead.