On the sleeve, it snags at every opportunity. In the mouth, it garbles all its syllables even if it knows the whole routine from memory. When it makes a promise, it does so with a slash from top to bottom, from side to side. Mine has tried to be tender more than granite, gilded more than broken—though lately its various weights have made it almost lose itself. Rambling or listless, it's walked that long road in search of its buoyant self. When it looks up from the depths of a well, the smallest word gives it courage. It might just tip and pour itself out, when the needle jumps on the turntable.