JULY 2009

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Overbite
By Kate Wyer, Apr 27, 2009

She could feel them shifting in her mouth. They rubbed each other in unfamiliar ways; teeth meeting with teeth that had never chewed together. Her overbite scrapped on the long thin bones of her jaw.

When she was eleven her orthodontist told her this would happen when she got pregnant. He told her to save the retainer to keep her teeth in place when the baby started to move them. She looked at his face and wanted to spit into its holes. She hated hormones and pleated pants, even then.

Not pregnant, certainly not pregnant. Tiny Chinese schools and Italian steeples heaved upwards and became dust on her tongue. She bit down hard to keep them from falling out.

Hemochromatosis, perhaps. Too much iron in the blood from chronic hepatitis, from that tattoo on her shoulder that read: red meat. She liked these ideas more than imagining a child inside moving her incisors; the translucent hands with strong thumbs pulling at the roots, smiling.

Kate Wyer works as a mental health interviewer for the public health system of Maryland. She loves her job because if someone tells her that their heart runs on atomic energy she gets to smile and say, “Okay!” Her chapbook, From Spools of Thin Wire, was released by Publishing Genius. She has forthcoming fiction in mud luscious and DOGZPLOT.

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