Dental work

i went to the dentist yesterday
he asked me what’s new
i guess what’s new this year because i don’t remember the last time i saw him
well, i’m really interested in beavers i said, after a short pause
he took a seat on his stool, no metal tooth equipment in hand
sitting to my left, looking at me
well, the way water moves through land, I explained
the history of this land and what brought the Europeans
for the hats
and then all the beaver were hats
(and today i wonder what happened to all of those hats)
and the rivers were straightened
so the water could move fast
(i know i’ve said all this before)
could move more things to more people
(i didn’t say that last part to the dentist)
but things are changing now
in England they are reintroducing beavers
right outside of London
because the way they build
it reduces flooding.
I’m also thinking about (i paused, looking for a word)
I don’t like how environmental organizations talk to people
leading with fear and making all the choices with statistics
and I’m thinking, now don’t misunderstand me,
I’m thinking about
(i’m trying to think of some way to link beavers to the feminine without being crass)
I’m thinking, well, feminine energy is linked to flow
and the land was dried up
when we…
(then i started talking about bison and soil invertebrates and insects and birds)
he sat there on the stool
a young dentist, a father
a person i have spoken with maybe 6 times in 4 years
of course we all have both masculine and feminine energies, I said

And after I paused he said
So you’re talking about a different kind of flow
like dams that don’t just hold everything but allow something to move through
allowing things to be less predictable, more functionally disordered
you’re talking about bringing the two energies in balance
because we need them to work together
(yes, a marriage, i thought, that’s right)

So have you always been interested in beavers, he asked
moving to my right side, towards the teeth side of me
well, I guess it started with rodents, about a year and a half ago
I’m interested in rodents
and I didn’t know a beaver was a rodent
well, yes, he said, rodents are classed into that group
because their teeth grow throughout their lives
Capybaras are also rodents, he added
nonchalantly, not knowing that this visit
was now the next ripple
the next clue

I didn’t expect to have my faith in life
polished (to choose a dental metaphor)
but that’s what life will do
if you allow it to move through you
Because I don’t have the words, because I don’t know yet
here’s the capybara that’s been looking at me for the past month
the one Sam brought home from art class and is sitting at my desk