11:38 p.m. in the half­way house

The Iowa Review - - THE IOWA REVIEW - Justin Hyde

i can’t just leave this in here justin

i might as­pi­rate on it in my sleep.

she ac­tu­ally uses the word as­pi­rate.

i look up into the dead horse­shoe of her mouth

half her teeth al­ready gone

there it is to­wards back

loose not too loose.

if she goes to the county hos­pi­tal across the street they won’t touch the tooth

they’ll just shoot her up with mor­phine and tell her come back when the free den­tal clinic opens in the morn­ing.

she tries with a rag it won’t budge.

i have gomez get a shower cur­tain in case there’s blood

lam­bert holds her head

i clean the nee­dle-nose pli­ers with an al­co­hol wipe.

there is no blood. comes out easy

like a piece of corn off the cob.

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