Pandemic II: Dreams in the Time of COVID-19

My first three teeth fell out last night
at Sarah’s fortieth birthday party
and I mistook them for pebbles
or seashells in my jaw and shored

them underneath my tongue. I spit them out
in two pink flowered paper towels
that danced in the powder room and—
the sink handed me two more—

returned for cocktails and discreetly
tried to hide my boxer’s mouth
behind a glass of pink champagne.
And then I struggled to ignore

my voice, a mumble like a mouth
of marbles when more teeth broke off
and crunched, and soon I worried that
I’d have to leave just like before.

The experts say that crumbling teeth
appearing in your dreams can mean
you’ve lost control over your life,
and if so—I feel pretty sure

my falling face is from the spread
of something called COVID-19
compounded by the worry that
I’ll never get inside the door

of a dentist’s office sometime soon
to stop my teeth from cracking
due to presidential lies I can’t
unhear, and now my gums are sore.

It’s still unclear exactly when
I’ll see my grandkids, and I’m stressed
by fingers touching faucets, phones
and finding no wipes at the store.

They say the forecast is for hail
beginning soon after midnight
and skies are shrouded in a dire
outbreak of falling stars.





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