Taking the blood cousin from its box, ancestral dust spiraling up my nostrils into brain, flipping switches toward what nostalgia hasn’t gone to rot, I wonder if I’m making a mistake.
Then the lash-heavy lids of its eyes heave open. It smiles, and I know. Grin growing rows. Long tongue emerging from gullet, flicking at the air to taste how long it’s been. Its tip fishes between its lumberpile teeth for bits of food or chunks of mouth and like a slick pink deformed arm it flings what it finds at my face.
The thanks, I guess, I get for this.