On the First Day of School

by Sara Moore Wagner

All our teeth are single-rooted,
worn down so thin, they expose
their inner canals, tissues
of various densities, we go out
in the early air, smile at the children:
reveal our pulp chambers,
full of blood vessels and nerves.
How the wind hits and our bodies
are tin, the sharp staccato striking from
tooth to chest. Wouldn’t it be better
to lose. The pain of plucking less
than this constant pulse, hammer and nail
mouthed mothers, grinning
in the morning light. Be kind
to these babies, world. Be kind.

Sara Moore Wagner is the Cincinnati based author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Glass poetry journal, Gulf Stream, Gigantic Sequins, Stirring, and Arsenic Lobster, among others, and is forthcoming in journals including Western Humanities Review and Tar River Poetry. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and for Best of the Net. Find her at www.saramoorewagner.com.

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