The Iowa Review

JUSTIN HYDE
11:38 p.m. in the halfway house


i can't just leave
this in here justin

i might aspirate on it
in my sleep.

she actually uses the word
aspirate.

i look up into the
dead horseshoe
of her mouth

half her teeth
already gone

there it is
towards back

loose

not too loose.

if she goes to the county hospital
across the street
they won't touch the tooth

they'll just shoot her up with morphine
and tell her come back
when the free dental clinic opens
in the morning.

she tries with a rag

it won't budge.

i have gomez
get a shower curtain
in case there's blood

lambert
holds her head

i clean
the needle-nose pliers
with an alcohol wipe.

there is no blood.

comes out easy

like a piece of corn
off the cob.

The Iowa Review

Founded in 1970 and edited by faculty, students, and staff from the renowned writing and literature programs at the University of Iowa, The Iowa Review takes advantage of this rich environment for literary collaboration to create a worldwide conversation among those who read and write contemporary literature.
     They publish a wide range of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, translations, photography, and work in emerging forms by both established and emerging writers. Work from their pages has been consistently selected to appear in the anthologies Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.

The Iowa Review online


JUSTIN HYDE

Justin Hyde lives in Iowa.

This poem first appeared in The Iowa Review 45/3 (Winter 2015/16).

This page was first displayed
on January 30, 2017

Find us on Facebook