Planet Nitrous Oxide


By Michael Rivers

Reclining in the sterile chair
far from planet Earth
somewhere near planet nitrous oxide,
curved drills
burrow into my molar.

Pain echoes
in my tongue’s living half,
dying memories
screaming across time;
one last brilliant gasp for life.

In these death throes,
as the Endodontist
mines my jaw,
the assistant sings along
to Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl.”
“I always thought they were black …
Not saying white people don’t have soul.”

Excavating my tooth,
obliterating its nerves,
the Endodontist replies,
“No, I know what you mean.”

I am a million miles away in space and humming along with the tune.


4 thoughts on “Planet Nitrous Oxide

    1. Yes, it needs to be capitalized as Endodontist refers to the practitioner’s sub-specialty within Dentistry re: dental pulp. If he had referred to an “endodontic procedure” it would not be capitalized.


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