My tongue wiggles the molar. Each pressing rewards with a dull throb, pulsing in my nerve and blood rich, pink gums. Impossible to stop. On every push, the tooth’s cant increases. Tongue guides tooth in an elliptical orb in its socket. My tongue pauses, then pries into the growing rent between ivory and gum.
The tooth falls.
It drips from my mouth in a glistening string of drool into my hand. The tongue pokes and prods the gaping gum hole. It scoops up all the tart, red coppery gelatin.
My thumb and forefinger hold the tooth root side up for inspection. Bits of gum cling to the roots, and there’s a dark cavity cavern dug out on the molar’s side. The sparkling, upside down tooth tapers into root spires; decayed, darkened and brittle as burnt match tips.
No matter what angle of approach my thumb and forefinger use to replace the molar, it fights going back. Each push crumbles calcium. Rotated 180°, the slot is read and the tooth sklishes into place. Flavor bursts onto my tongue.
The next tooth falls.
It’s shoved into space between jawbone and mouth lining. Another drops. Then the next. Teeth tumble, filling my cheek pouches; mouth floods with saliva, gum and blood; the freed alabaster clatters against the ones rooted in place. My juicy mouth pulsates and teems over. A reflexive swallow sucks spit and cuspids lumping down my throat.
The bottom teeth want to escape. They do.
Sodden teeth shatter in my mouth as stepped-on candy canes would, powdering into a paste of tooth-dust and saliva and blood. Pink drool drips, tickling my chin, christening my chest.
My fist closes on shard-flecked, congealing jelly. Tears sting, but cling.
The first fingernail’s ready. It wiggles loose.