I often dream of losing teeth, the crowns hard and dead but the roots turned to nothing, sharp enamel edges digging into gums as I try to fit the molars back in place like puzzle pieces that used to be a part of me, but are no longer mine. I read once from an untrustworthy source that dreams of teeth are about beauty and vanity which I can almost pretend that I believe, since both are lost in old age, both are tools weapons and shields, the sudden loss of either would fill me with the same fear that I dream of, while tonguing bloody hollows and pressing teeth to wounds willing a miracle of bone to reconnect them hoping to hide until the unknowable solution appears wiggling the small seeds of my front teeth like when I was a child. But if teeth are beauty, then I can’t explain why in some small fraction of these dreams I feel no fear, hands in mouth pushing teeth to free sharp edges the familiar, long remembered ache of losing them I’ve practiced this I’ve teared at every kind of flesh and the teeth lift like a weight from inside me and I cry into a drooling, bloody smile.