I am wading through a sea of teeth.

Do you know what it sounds like? Of course you don't.

It sounds horrible at first, the clacking of molars on canines. A world of wordless mouths scraping, skidding across your prickling soles. But if you don’t think too hard about it — if you shut out the glinting eggshell everywhere — it’s almost like the sea, the way it all slurs together. Waves carry you off, biting roots melt into your skin, and you let go.


The last thing I remember clearly is the (sidenote: In Japanese funeral tradition, the cremated remains of the deceased are sorted through by immediate family, who use chopsticks to pass bone fragments down the line and ultimately into an urn. Hence, it is considered extremely rude to pass food between chopsticks at meals. ) . The muted clicking they made in my trembling fingers. The glint of cold, white light off the black varnish, the texture of the wood grain underneath. The table at my elbow was out of focus, and try as I may, my eyes did not waver from my hands. To my left, my brother nudged me. In his chopsticks, thrust toward me, was a single pearly molar.


She was carrying me on her back beneath an oversize raincoat. We plodded along, her footfalls lost among the pattering of rain on pavement. I mumbled through the haze of sleep, "If I'm too heavy, I can carry you instead." She rewards me with a grin flashed over her shoulder and a barked laugh. Maybe when I'm more than half her height.

I wish I could give her a smile now. She is on my back, and I can hold her in the palm of my hand. The backpack straps dig into my shoulders; a gust of air nips at my sleeves and sends the odor of sweat up my nose. I feel like I've been walking for hours — at least since the sun was up. I can hardly remember what I'm looking for anymore.

Twine one day?