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Burying the Baby Teeth


Loley Line Drawing_edited.jpg

??.????° N, ???.????° W

Moving out,

I find them in

my medicine cabinet,

behind aspirin, and 

cough syrups crusted closed. 


A few years of teeth

clasped in a metal 

Altoids container. 

The harvest of the Tooth Fairy,

trading a dollar under the pillow,


while the dogs snored.

Now, a new job says go. 

Your boys don’t believe

in these spirits anymore.

What do you do with this hoard?


Along the crabapple tree

in the backyard, I press them

in the dirt in rough rows

for any gods who’ll listen.

Now, now we move out.

James doing scotch tasting lecture - James Jay (1)_edited.jpg

JAMES JAY has taught poetry at public schools, jails, community colleges, Northern Arizona University, and given Irish Literature lectures at the Arizona Highland Celtic Festival. He currently teaches poetry for the Missoula Writing Collaborative. He received the Copper Quill Award for his poetry, and his work has been featured on National Public Radio’s Poetry Friday on KNAU. His third book of poems, Barman, was recently published by Gorsky Press. For a decade, he served as the president of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. He has an M.A. in Literature from Northern Arizona University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. He owns a pub with his wife, the musician and runner Aly Jay. They have two sons and three dogs (they’re all a wily pack). In his spare time, he plays the ancient Irish game of hurling as a half-forward for the Thomas Meagher Hurling Club. 


In the 1960s orchards ran throughout this area of Flagstaff. It's mostly houses now, but fruit trees of all kinds pop up at random to help us make sense of the day to day events. 

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