Checkup By Anthony Cordello

February 18, 2016 Comments Off on Checkup By Anthony Cordello

She took one look and said it wasn’t a cavity but a ghost trapped inside the tooth. She asked if I had fallen asleep with my mouth open near any fresh graves within the past month. I admitted that I had passed out in Hackensack Cemetery last Saturday and informed her that I had a copy of the police report if she needed it, but she just shook her head, patted my arm, explained that the extraction was very simple and painless except for the quick shot of novocaine. I shrugged and enjoyed the ride as she lowered the seat. Before recklessly plunging the needle into the roof of my mouth, she listed everything bizarre she had ever found inside teeth: a diamond chain, a beer tab, a fossil of a starfish, a green army man, a ceramic deer statue, a money order for five hundred and seventy-five dollars, a carabiner, a pill cutter. Before she hooked the suction wand to the side of my mouth, before she took my tooth apart with sickle and chisel, I told her how, early last Sunday morning, a deer had come out of the woods and ate away all the flowers from the tombstone.

© 2015 Anthony Cordello

Anthony Cordello went to UMass Amherst for his BA and Fairfield for his MFA. His stories have been published in decomP, Tin House’s Open Bar, and Thickjam.

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