Sometimes I still pull gold coins out from under my tongue. It’s not as often, only when I’m short change. Only when I have a story to tell, and even then, it never seems to be enough. My fingers have memorized the motion – the plucking and wiping off of wet on my sleeve. I have to wonder if they’re worth more because I find them less and less, or if rather, their rarity only echoes at extinction. This is how the notebooks have turned to photo-albums; how each poem has become a snapshot that radiates nostalgia as pain through a bone. And perhaps, like men once passed from mouth to ear and back again, such things will steal your soul. But we were greedy. And God, I was so greedy – documenting everything. I try to avoid thinking about it, but it’s hard not to wonder if my soul will stay, and if it does, just how much I will miss it. So I pull the coins out when they come, for fear of choking on them. I pluck and wipe and pocket them. My movements have become no more than mere maintenance – the silent barter for my body to keep breathing, because despite everything, I know I cannot afford to lose myself.