Teeth

by nicolecallihan

Yesterday, she cut her third tooth, and today it rains and rains. (So sharp and white, the glare, the windows.) Years ago, I dreamed my teeth fell out while I was standing in line at the grocery store, that I coughed and when I looked into my hand I found them: shiny, bone-like. I remember feeling terribly embarrassed of them and shoving them deep into my pockets. These days my dreams are quick and panicked, and I seem to remember all of them because I never get past them in sleep: I hover at the edge, like I’ve rolled up my blue jeans and am just sitting by the shore; I don’t go any further than that; too afraid, I guess, that I won’t hear Eva if she cries. I’ve been thinking of her growing up, how she’ll lose these teeth, how we’ll joke about doorknobs and strings and taking bites of apples, how she’ll have dreams that she could never recount to me, dreams she won’t even recall. The rain will stop. (I think it already has.) But now this: more glare through the windows; my hand absentmindedly touching her forehead, forever checking for fever; my finger reaching into her mouth and pressing on her gums. Teeth, I say. Teeth.

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