There is a museum of feathers
in that wisdom tooth: this is the real
reason your dentist is taking it out.
The insects of his anxious fingers
pry apart sprays of raw tissue,
bare pink stalactites of your mouth.

It is a delicate parlor barged with hot
intrusion. A molar thick with academy.
Freckle-sized flights labeled and sharp;
air-and-body in flat bookish frames.
He hacks the nerve weeds and pries
out the beautiful place in the crux
of your human root.

He finds the feathers are sweet and thin
like recess; like a pinhead atlas.
They are so small some breeds of fairies
recycle them as wings—one crooked
under each drooping shoulder.
The smell is a syrup plum of intimate
and new, like sweat off a swan's back.
The display cases clean themselves,
always pearl-fine as teapots.

This is the odd way of the human cure:
the loosening of person parts to eliminate
the strange. The act of diagnosis and treatment.
Inarticulate gifts rattle out, and out.

CHRISTINA BEASLEY is a poet and public servant in Washington, DC. She received her master’s degree from Georgetown University and is an assistant poetry editor with Barrelhouse. Her poetry has or will appear in Hobart, Atlanta Review, Bridge Eight, The Pinch, Into the Void, Watershed Review, The Binnacle, and other publications. She has done residencies with Virginia Quarterly Review, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Southern Illinois University.