So this is loving a dentist, she thinks, and he washes his hands
again. And he washes his hands. She is seated with knit scarf
coiled at the neck. He threads her piercings with dental floss,
loops the wax strands into bows to give his tongue employment.
Her lobes absorb the mint smell and turn purple at the tips.
So this is loving a dentist, she thinks, and the old orchestra cracks
its knuckles and tightens its strings. And the old orchestra swells
from the pit. She takes off her clothes and lies on the rug.
He brings a knife and bowl of fruit, tries to peel an apple
in a single curl but fails. She crosses her legs at the ankle.
So this is what it's like to love a dentist, he says, and quarters
the apple. The fruit has nothing to do with foreplay. The fruit
has nothing to do with foreplay. She imagines neighbors.
Enter ox-cart of desire. A jar of pennies jingles in the corner
while they rehearse their marvelous business on the floor.
So this is love and that is a dentist, she reasons and does not
pretend to be impressed. He calls her from the shower where
his hands are being washed and the old conductor climbs out
from the orchestra pit and the apple core browns in its bowl
and the shower's steam rises as a kind of applause.