Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck

I’d just removed my “flipper”
before going to bed –
the plastic retainer with the false tooth
I put into my mouth
like one of those wax Halloween candies
with the vampire fangs,
to cover the gap in my smile
where the dead tooth had been yanked –
when I saw the internet ad
for a baseball cap whose visor read:
Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck.

Snickering with adolescent mirth,
I pointed it out to my wife.
“Abby,” I joked, “this is what
I want for Chanukah.”
When she came over to look,
I read the slogan aloud.

Only, whistling through
the hole in my mouth,
it made me sound
like a flatulent old man,
the hiss and poof of loose bowels.

With chagrin, I recalled
my grandmother’s dentures
in a glass of water
by her bedside,
her mouth collapsed to a pucker
like a deflated balloon.

That only happens to old people,
I remembered thinking at the time.


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Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives and Reviews Editor for Adirondack Review. His most recent books include American Zeitgeist (Apprentice House) and a chapbook, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts ( Main Street Rag Press). Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.