I have a loose tooth. I’m a thirty-two year old woman, with a history of late blooming, and a baby tooth that’s just now falling out. My dentist told me I should pull it. She said there’s no need to linger in the in- between. She said it could become painful. With nothing to push it out, my gums would inflame, things could fall in, and the tooth might rot from the bottom. I told her I’d like to keep it. I pushed my tongue against its back side and said, “I’ll risk it.” I have a friend who interprets dreams. She told me when a tooth falls out it’s a sign of change and loss, maybe a compromise made with your arm twisted behind your back. I told her I think my mouth is responding to the election. Things don’t have the same meaning. The morning after I found myself doing dishes thinking, “Does it even matter if these are clean.” I spent most of the week crying, three glasses deep, holding my friends by the elbows. But now I’ve come to. I realized the country was ahead of me. It had already rot from the bottom, and I had no idea. To me it was just a loose tooth that I found more comfortable to keep than let go, because I was scared of the hole. Any damage done would be in a place I couldn’t see. But the dentist told me I would feel it. She said most people are like me. They wait until they’re in pain to do anything about it, but the only way to avoid the rot is to open it up.