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Mrs. Peacock's Root Canal

By Angela Chaidez Vincent

digital art by Kathleen Quaintance

I waited

so long. But just as it is strange to think of Romans

as women, so it is strange to think of a surgeon as a man

without a hidden face. I used to draw plans


to change

Sizzlers to surgery rooms. Away with the searing of meat

to make way for the visceral dreamers. My violet nail slid down

the building code so patients could drowse,


then wake

one ache softer. Somewhere in some office, an engineer (yours)

stares into her ceiling of lay-in tiles precisely two by four feet,

wonderful for estimating expanse of interior


spaces. Granted,

it may have been the drugs, but once I stared deeply into a field

of five o’clock shadow, a galaxy of coarse growth converging

on the exact place I might have kissed


if I were more

than a root canal. Would you like to see the nerve?

he asked. There, sweet angel hair. An omen. Silent for years

beside the river of everything I’ve ever said.


Might have kissed

should have been: someone wonderful should. It’s long past

late. What I wished, deep down: helmets dropping

to the ground. What I wanted

was a Roman.



ANGELA CHAIDEZ VINCENT writes poetry and fiction and has a background in the fields of engineering and computer science. Her debut poetry collection, Arena Glow, is forthcoming from Tourane Press. She lives in Fresno, California.


Art by Kathleen Quaintance



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