Moraine by Tamara Madison

The dentist shows me photographs

 of my teeth, their vintage fillings

 glisten silvery like mountain lakes,

 their alpine peaks ground down

from years of carrots, nuts, crackers

apples, chocolate, chewing gum

 sunflower seeds, popcorn kernels

 blackened in the sizzling pot.

He shows me the places where the silver

 has turned into wedges;

there are the fissures in the rock

that threaten to split my trusty molars

 into shards. It’ s all happening now:

 my knees buckle as I’ m walking,

my uterus is tired, my feet deformed,

 my nails have taken in fungi,

my mind is heavy with memories

and opinions it has picked up

along the way like a glacier

acquires rock debris. I see not just

my mouth as shown on the dentist’ s

 screen but my whole being

as a moraine where the still

slowly-moving glacier of my life

 dumps whatever it has picked up

 along the way. When I die

all that will remain will be

 the meaningless bits broken off

the mountains of experience.

I will have melted and joined

my eerie blue glacial waters

with the brown and turgid

swirling of the sea.

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