Thursday, September 7, 2023


 The Bruxist

I'm a modern American man

In all the usual ways

Except for a rather severe

Variant of night clenching.

While sleeping I crack crowns

And grind molars

Down to skipping stones.

My dentist asks 

If I’ve been eating rocks.

Soon I’ll need dietary modifications—

Only softs and purees, nothing to gnaw,

Nothing with a crunch

Anything I can just gum.

I wake with the ache of a spike

Driven into the hinge

Of my jaw.

Mouth guards don’t help

I just clamp down harder.

I’m ravenous for something at night

Driven to feed an insatiable emptiness

Hiding in the hole of the gut.

As soon as I fall asleep a buffet

Appears—steaming serving pans

Full of failure, regret and loss.

For dessert a chilled mousse

Of impending doom.

All night I chew

To make it go away.

Whatever's left rots

In the heat of the day.


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