“Root Canal”
By Yusuf Saadi


Tie a string around my tooth and pull.
Offshore dental rigs won’t drill this skull
for secrets. In my mother’s tongue I love
you intimates I want you as my home.
In her kingdom, wand’ring minstrels croon
to cooling kadams, sooth bare gums with paan.

On St-Hubert a toothless snowman stares
into my window, smiles. This wintry air
is anaesthetic—ringing glass-on-glass
of interlocking crystals. Walking past
his porch I hear him sing in frozen key,
Novocaine would numb your face,
you’d never learn to love a place,
my abscess lulls to ancient melody.


From CNQ 105 (Fall 2019)

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