I Peel My Teeth

……………

I peel my teeth each time
I think how white you make my day

even though at times you
wring my ego dry as my grandmother did

the shirts she took in to wash and press
sweating in front of her cookstove

as her teawater boiled behind and I
young and easily impressed

watched her run her iron
back and forth over a damp sleeve

sending its wrinkles to oblivion
as you flatten a
crease or fold
in my carelessly rumpled
me-ness

by Jim Culleny; August 26, 2009

*Peel my teeth: Mexican idiom for “smile”

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