I'm sorry but I can't, the birds are all talking.
Don't move, I think they're saying. Don't touch me, don't shoot.
You love me you said? Is that it? You love me no matter what?
I mean no matter what?
They're hunting turkeys outside but besides that I hear nothing. Yes, the television counts as nothing, your voice counts as nothing, my heartbeat counts as nothing. Okay, never mind, I lied, your voice is a semi-precious stone, at worst.
So all my apologies --- every single one. Tell me, were you always a god?
I move my body, my teeth chatter with the talking birds. Don't get cold, I won't be cold. Keep the bones warm and alive. Your hands are not helpful but your eyes are the kind that look to the color of the shirt worn for guidance as to how to shine. Look, you don't understand - I'm not a storyteller, so put all that shiny good stuff away and show me some shadows. You're distracting, I'm distracted. I scribble in my head and I hold your hands with mine. I'm sorry. I missed your call, I'm late for all the appointments, I'm sorry, I lose people like pens. It's complicated, I was always a late bloomer but maybe I could make you some tea? I could fold all your clothes? I could pour us some whiskey shots and I swear I won't stop until you tell me to. I could write you vague love letters on the back pages of novels, but not this, I can't do this.
Just please, wait and don't move, I'm trying to tell you something.
I swear there's a point. There is a matter and the matter is this: I lost. It's that simple and I'm so sorry. It's too much like swishing warm salt water in my mouth when I lost a tooth. Blood and salt and teeth and 'Kerry, spit it out' and 'Don't play with that new, bloody hole there' but I would anyway, my tongue searching for a distinct bitter proof of something missing. In my growing-adult-teeths phase I remember being moved from one place to another by the sound of bells. They weren't silver or gold but I remember still a deep sounding ring and complete understanding. I left then and i'll never tell you where I ended up. My mother still has a baby tooth of mine inside a very tiny soft envelope. The others I swallowed in my sleep, like most things. I can remember learning somewhere that teeth are stronger than the bones of the body but i'm still not what you think, i'm still not that storyteller. Still lost, still sleeping. That baby tooth in the envelope is meaningless, I know, in the giant looming scheme of things but listen. It's a symbol and I can't stop searching for those. I play with the tooth in my hands back and forth, I press the sharp edges of it into the skin of my fingers. Listen up, please. I was born. I was born and then there was a gold rush.