your mouth becomes stale bread
and your nerves rusty, corroded electrical wire

your teeth become metal
and your jaw calcifies into an antiquated railroad line
rife with old, copper pennies, stagnant and dull,
pressed firmly into the steel.

roots and cables are frozen to the ground
and all the hinges are locked in place.

there's nothing to think about but fossilized pain.

that's what a dry socket feels like.

that gap where your teeth used to be
that now forges a frozen, coal mine deep into the bone,
down to the core of your being.

and with every wisp of air comes a frigid shard of razor
and with every hot drink stings a honed needle of fire.

like hooks in your eyes
there's nowhere to run and nothing to look at
and with every direction turned
you find yourself uttering again and again and again
those two, brazen words: