hopping madly away as I try to catch them back into my cavernous mouth. They glisten in sunlight and moonlight, some with emerald poison, others with diamond tears. The din of their croaking is nothing to the silence that ensues once others have picked them from the air. They place the sparkling creatures to their ears, and so close to their faces they pick the jewels off like warts, leaving only the bare toad. Too late, the creatures return to my unwilling hands, are placed next to my unwilling ears to fall into my mind like stones.