Issue Two


(for my hygienist)

the morning before my 

last check up 

I wrote this little note 

along a ribbon of

dental floss 

and wove it in my teeth

slaloming between the 

incisors and molars 

and it read:

“in my grill you will find

wisdom was extracted 

long ago

so take your sterile probe 

and uncurl my soggy 

lingual scroll-

a cuspid confessing 

this canine puppy love”

since we met it’s like I

see eye teeth everywhere

I want to say that you

are a queen 

so don’t tell me that your 

crown is just a filling 

would you be horrified 

to hear that if I could 

I’d unhinge my jaw like 

a snake and swallow you? 

my smile is just a thin 

white veneer I practiced 

in the mirror- hiding an ancient deep cavity 

and so you see my dear 

hygienist please take this 


exposing, confessing,

abscessing, infecting, reflecting… can’t you see

I am clean?

I really have to know 

if you feel sensitive 

like me or are you numb 

from all this Novocain?

by the way 

I wrote this little song 

just for you…

(drilling and sucking sounds devolving into agony)

please spit it out!

About Richard Curtis
Rich Curtis is Associate Professor of Art at Thomas University. He is a visual artist who works mainly in drawing and painting, as well as performance art and time-based media. Originally from North Alabama, Curtis completed his graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. Since then he has exhibited and performed internationally. Curtis has been teaching at TU since 2011.