She was the pebble in the soldier’s shoe,
hunger that hardens into bone.
She was the comet;
see the crater it left behind.
The warning too and the one
cloud over a sunstroked sea.
She was “anaesthesia,” “theosophist,”
“perambulator” and other words
that tangled the tongue.
She was the baby of a large man
in the body of a tiny woman.
Her will was a watermelon
wedged into a garden hose.
She’d always be like this,
always disagreeable, always alone.
Then one fine morning, a sliver of hope:
she watched a tooth disintegrate
inside a glass of Coke.
Drink this, someone said,
and thus commenced her dream:
The stone began to crumble,
to melt like a bullion cube.
For a pebble could be made into soup,
enough for her
and the soldier,
the entire village, even. No one
would ever go hungry again. The End.