The teeth rattling along lower gums were not his. Did not want to be his.
Kept falling greasily from his mouth every loud labored moist throatback chord wiggling breath, until he, exhausted, rolled a big flappy underlip back in curling like a wave,
and sucked the offwhite crests of artificial bone, dissipated into brown water
like dingy foam sucked back by tides into the ocean. The salt tides of his fuzzy breasts.
The intoxicated loopy daze of bloodshot eyes rolling in his head. His sister just died.
He needed a shirt and tie. That soft-hills-bulge he and his wife referred to as a neck
measured twenty six, to her mock shock, the wife, who swore he wore a twenty two,
and in the short course of minutes, we were trying on shoes, and found him a belt.
The entire time him slurping those teeth, almost raped into remaining
in that always chewing moving swollen mouth.
Making jokes to two white women waiting on their daughters.
Trying on prom dresses. And more importantly, trying them off.
Look at the size of this belt. Here, lord, we know where the years have gone.
He had the sweetest wife, who left him seated, up front talking so she could do some shopping, because it was clear he was not stopping. And with her not around, the wife,
in back smiling at a colorful discount half price gown, he could not stoop to tie his shoe.
So I smiled and slipped worn cottony padding around the back of his black diabetic sock,
which don’t do much damn good, accordingly. And if he had asked,
I might have tucked those dentures in for him too,
back behind his cracked wide smiling lips.
I have begun to believe I am alive to do things like this.