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IR ONLINE POETRY: “Portrait of Wisdom Teeth Surgery as a Day on the Lake” by Adrian Sanders

I practice in the mirror—

fish-hook each corner of my mouth

with a nervous index finger and pull.

I practice my breathing,

brush the scale enamel off my teeth,

open                my mouth wide like

the surgeon will do with his rod and reel hands.

Under anesthesia, I am a smallmouth bass,

(teach me how to rattle bone against pharyngeal teeth before I am)

angled, skinned, slit open

head to hind-end

with a pocketknife

that leaves only clean lines,

scooped empty

of guts and broken bone. When I wake up,


mom is wiping dried blood from my chin and hair

with a washrag that runs a cool, clean river down my neck.


Teach a man to fish and I’ll tongue

the line out from my cheek then

swallow the hook.


Adrian Sanders is a full-time creative writing major at Western Kentucky University, part-time book slinger, and social media intern for The Field Office. Her work has appeared in Jelly Bucket, Red Mud Review, and Lemon Star Mag. When she is not reading or writing, you can find her skating with Vette City Roller Derby. Find Adrian on twitter @adrianbreanna.