memento mori (20170228)

focus on the pain originating in your molar
floating heavenward like an angel
made of nerves wrapped around broken stained glass
up through your hard palate
lodging between your ear and jaw

wonder for ten seconds if it’s cancer or an abscess
then opt for tmj because you’re tired and you
need to sleep

this is a memento that death leaves in your crib
to remind you every single day that you are not
in fact, going to live forever

or maybe he colluded with the tooth fairy
when you lost your first tooth
touched that soft bloody spot
in your gums

you obsessively kept
your children’s teeth
even the dog’s


dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Poetics: One Memento

21 thoughts on “memento mori (20170228)”

  1. I suppose pain does tell you that you’re alive. Is that comforting? I’m not sure.
    I hope, if you are in pain, that you’re feeling better now.

    I had my kids’ baby teeth for a while, but then I found them one day, and they were really disgusting, so I tossed them. 🙂

    1. I think that is probably pain’s primary function. That and to remind you that maybe you better get moving if you want to stay alive. And I’m fine, thanks. I was pretty tired.

  2. I remember keeping my children’s teeth for a while. That might be what the tooth fairy is for, a way for parents to exchange the tooth for something else.

  3. Baby teeth and locks of hair as mementos used to be common, .very personal….teeth filled with gold or silver symbolize longevity and leave hints….yet nothing is permanent except death. Good one.

  4. Ouch, I have TMJ so I know what that feels like. I never thought of pain as a memento…until now. Enjoyed this response to the prompt.

  5. This made me laugh. Wrong response? I killed a character in one of my flashes recently, and my husband laughed his fool head off. Made me so mad. Anyway, I suppose any reaction is a good one? I hope so. I enjoyed it.

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