REHEARSING DYING. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Reflections Bookmark and Share


Colin remembered the green
Of the dentistís door; he
Remembered it from the time
Before, the brass handle, the

Knots in the wood, the smell
Of fresh paint, gas and the

Dentistís peppermint breath
Leaning over him, his large

Looming eyes through thick
Lens peering at him. Uncle
Had been left in the waiting
Room with other people and

Magazines, dying for a cigarette,
Remembering his own last time
There having his final teeth
Removed before the false teeth

Came. Colin tried to be brave,
Recalling his motherís words,
If youíre good, brave, and donít
Cry, Iíll tell Donal to get you

A comic and a large green apple.
Open the mouth wide, the dentist
Said. Colin obliged and opened
Up, stretching the jaw until it

Ached, gazing up the dentistís
Nose, looming just above a huge
Moustache like two small caves
Holding darkness, a solitary hair

Hanging from one side, greying,
Curling just to the left. The smell
Of the peppermint breath filtered
Down to him, the black gasmask

Coming down, the dental nurse
Lingering, staring, her mouth
Drawn tight into a slit, and Colin
Hearing their voices fading away

As he slipped down into the dark
Caves of the dentistís nose, and
The all too embracing deathlike
Blackness of the inside of his head

As if he were rehearsing his future
Dying, playing a game of being dead.

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