“I wanted to write a story about body glitter, and instead wrote something about teeth.”
A Song for Wounded Mouths
by Kristi DeMeester
It was Brandon who found the teeth. He was the one who picked up the small Mason jar, imagining it to be the perfect thing for B roll, the kind of homespun charm we were hoping to emulate for the video we were shooting for “Litany for Those Who Still Live.” He palmed the jar and rattled it at Derek.
“A jar of buttons. Jesus. My grandmother had one of these in her house, too. It’s perfect. A lingering zoom shot. An establishment of how it used to be. Before everything went to shit,” he said. I tried not to watch the fullness of his lower lip, how it curved around the syllables. But I was the same girl I’d always been, and it was too difficult to rip out the infatuation I’d felt for him since I was fifteen.
Derek shrugged. Forever noncommittal. By the time Brandon shrieked, the jar clattering to the peeling linoleum, I’d already looked away, occupied myself with unraveling the knot of cords in our equipment. Anything to keep from seeing the desperation in Brandon’s eyes when he looked at Derek. How he stared, his tongue touching the tip of his upper lip in a reminder of what his body could promise for Derek alone. It was not for me. Never for me.
So when Brandon screamed, I thought it was for effect, something to get Derek’s attention. The muscles between my shoulders clenched anyway, and I bit down on my tongue. I swiped my index finger across it, but there was no blood. I wished I could be anywhere but stuck in this abandoned house with the band I’d stumbled into and couldn’t leave. (Continue Reading…)