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by angeliska on October 18, 2002

i rise from dreams of..
telling secrets in the swimming pool with violet
and everybody else’s mother
i can pick her up and swing her around in the water
the walls of the pool are encrusted in human jawbones
it’s some sort of art project- they belong to our victorian ancestors
i pick one row of teeth out and throw it
i try and put some pieces back together..
layers and layers of teeth and history..
we go up to the victorian dental museum
where they have diagrams of archaic procedures
that make me cringe and shudder
i contemplate oral surgery in the 1880’s
and it upsets me greatly.
the metal plates hammered into the palate
to breach the cleft, to yank the rotten tooth..
the blood-swarm in the ears- laudanum swoon, a morphine hum..
the wooden chair, stiff leather-padded, with straps to hold you down..
we peer into dusty cabinets filled with specimens
microcephalic fetuses and squids and rabbits
all submerged in a fluorescent solution
(their bones will glow in the dark now..)
the formaldehyde acid yellow, the bones star-blue,
the transparent flesh baby-mouse pink..
there are some bizarre paramecium,
they look like miniature manta rays mated with strange jellyfish
and somehow, they are still alive in their glowing curiosity jars
if alive is what you call something waving its tentacles
in a glass jar for 200 odd years or more..
we sneak up the art nouveau staircase, past the office
and into the private quarters so bare but stylish..
the metalwork of the railing bends into steel treelimbs
and i perch upon these as the industrial elevator doors
swing open and out steps the dreadlocked man
i passed on the street yesterday afternoon..
his pet comes gamboling towards me
an orange cow-lamb construct- made of foam and animatronic
but with a human face and desire for affection and attention..
there was more, but all i can recall now
is saving my son from a burning house, our surburban nightmare
i pick up his sleeping body blankets and all and run screaming
out into the night-still front yard only to realize
that i had hallucinated the flames..

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