Amrit

Smile, he says his white teeth flashing
You get too frustrated and forget
His father was a policeman in Nepal
He brought his work home with him
Phone calls, not the norm in his country

My mom brought her work home
In sullen regularity of unspoken frustration
She spent thousands on my teeth
An investment in my future happiness
My mom did not invest in what was not visible

My teeth, he says, should make you smile
I feign ignorance of his crooked teeth
They don’t make a bit of difference
On a face lit by golden happiness
Your teeth are so white I respond

The whole time he speaks, he smiles
Genuinely sweet, touched by loveliness
I’m thinking the policeman invested well
That heart was created with no money spent
I am grateful his father was a wise man

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