Brushing My Teeth in Front of the Bathroom Mirror Without My Shirt On

written by Dave Nielsen

I’m not even forty and my soul
is almost evaporated.

My teeth hurt.
And my gums.

It’s a face almost no one
could love.

These poets with twelve books of poetry
must have a crapload to say.
Or the holy spirit just talks to them a lot,
whispering in their ears

the words that crack like fire.
Or maybe they’re so full of it
their pants are sagging.
Me, I swear I’ll stop at five,

seven books tops.

You, whom I have never met, thank you
for being there in my imagination
when I needed you.

Thank you for the thoughtful expression
on your face
once in a while

as I spit.


written by Dave Nielsen

The ocean—the color of stone.
I think it says, “Let’s get serious now,
let’s not mess around.”

At night the ocean sparkles and shines
with the light of a billion stars. I also
have a universe or two inside me,

and a few deep galaxies
no one has ever visited.