Nitrous oxide: about as close
as it gets to the gods
without sacrifice, the nonsense of origins
a pretty polly epiphany
polyphony cackling through
the wireless speakers of the mind.
It’s a shame they don’t serve religion at the dentist anymore.
It damages the brain, the wowsers say, and it’s true
that religion should be consumed in moderation,
but what’s a few cells culled from the mortal billions
while they drill.
My last dentist wore loud shirts
and installed bad crowns in mouths.
His talk of motor yachts as he drilled
and filled was a poor craftsman’s
desperate superiority, the man was all enamel,
an anger coated in achievement, my mouth
was his McMansion, his shirt an admission
of life being elsewhere. Probably Hawaii.
My new dentist takes 3d images of my jaw.
There are coloured regions like a rain chart
where the teeth press together:
mountain ranges chowing down
on the unevenness of things,
clenching the inequality of dreams.
Megabytes ride the ether,
a small mill the size of a budget printer
in the next room carves the crown.
We watch it together wearing our smiles.
Who needs gods when you can do this?
He fits it, bakes it, glues it in. So many
almost miracles, so many leaps of reason
to tantalise the understanding.
His assistant gives me the bill.
God is historical and I am on my way to join him
This dentist is younger than me
and in better touch with the future.
He looks like a movie star and I’m already looking back,
to the old days, when we self-administered religion.
We were stupid then, beginnings seemed endless,
the gods were mostly with us, we found them
when we drove to Maccas and sucked
the nitrous out of ten whipped cream bulbs
in the carpark, then tried to order burgers
from the smiling girls inside
without dissolving into laughter.
4 May 2016