Your mom asks you to latch eye and hook around her neck. A string of little white moons rests against her breasts. Luna. Eclipse. Breathe—“you gotta show them love.” Hook catches in eye and you drape them just so down mother’s neck.
“Pearls lose luster if not worn.”
You wish she would make up tales like before. Reasons why pearls lose shine. Gotta give them kisses, whisper love sonnets, coax shine out by placing them around a clam’s mouth. Drape them on dolphins.
Oils, though. Pearls crave sweat and flesh.
“When you’re older, they’ll crave you.”
As a toddler you climb on top of the glass vanity, and you see candy drops resting in velvet and pop each one between your lips. Roll them on your tongue. Give them kisses until Mama pulls the string from your mouth and pulls and pulls.
You are clam. You are shell and mollusk, liquid flesh, tongue, sitting on hot sand. You choke as your mom pops the last moon out.