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Why I Am Haunting Your Dental Floss

Meghan McGrath

I’ve been lost without this life
and its corporeal morsels…
now even your gnawed-on egg-roll
brings awe. Let me deal
with your left-overs, let me
spelunk your mandibular jaw.
I’d almost forgotten
the way this is. I want
Gingivitis to name you with,
a chipped bicuspid, halitosis…
Give me the cinnamon-soaked
thread strung tight, and I’ll
tango with your overbite.
After ages of prowling in
skeletal hedgerows and roiling
the floorboards at midnight, I’m
giving up the ghost routine.
So let’s graze the enamel clean,
let’s see how real you are—
I’m waiting for the wedge
of masticated pear, a lick
of parsley, oatmeal, waiting
for the bread pulp that proves
you exist. The vibrance of
life, in unswallowed carrots:
it takes a ghost
to appreciate this. I coast
along on flossing fingers,
recognize what you have missed.