He pulled my tooth that day.
It loosened on an apple
I picked from his tree.
With fingers hidden
under a damp washcloth,
he pulled it away.
He held it in his hand
as I ran my tongue through the space.
It felt known, though
I had never felt that part of me.
Make a wish, he said
because wishes were better
than quarters under pillows.
I wished to have more teeth to pull,
to see his face that close to mine.
I can still see it,
bark of a willow tree
melded into cheek and chin.
His eyes, scotch and water,
resting on my face.
I couldn't help but love
the blood that flowed
from my mouth.
Warm and soft,
a river that only rushes.
If I Knew You Were There
The stuff of magic he used to say, as if magic could be found
somewhere, could be a stuff.
I used to stare at those two-yellowed fingers thinking that was
where the magic was, his magic.
The smoke always did surround him, blurring the wrinkles
around his eyes.
I would watch him as if he was my magic, as if those dollars he
gave me came from smoky stars.
I'd watch, as he would rub his leather wallet, so soft I thought
it might dissolve. Leaving the bills folded neatly beneath
change and plastic.
It never did dissolve. It probably has now.
When people die we are afraid of the bones, the puzzle pieces
that made the smile we miss.
If I ever saw his bones I would hug them, those crooked
kneecaps, the yellow finger bones,
And I would remember the magic and the smoke that filled the
convertible we sat in for a while.
Andrea Mehaffie recently graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in writing. Her work here at 2River is her first publication. contact