I have not flossed since my daughter was born

a week after she is buried I have a dentist appointment
a check-up scheduled months ago
between painting walls and picking out names
and I go
because what else is there to do

easing a mirror around my teeth she says your gums
are very angry
and this is the first thing in a long time
that has made any sense

because every part of me
should be inflamed, screaming
the entire world
should have been flung off its axis
and instead

I am lying in this chair
with more pain than can possibly
be explained by a little redness
around my teeth

About the Author
Rachel Markell is a Brown University ’18 graduate with a dual degree in Literary Arts and Computer Science. She is originally from Tallahassee, FL and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where she works as a Software Engineer and is the co-editor of The Post Grad Journal.