The Man who ate Stones

Vicki Feaver

He had never felt so light:
his skin like the paper of kites,

his bones like the insides of Maltesers.
He thought he was going to float

through the roof of the house,
drifting through space

like an astronaut
untethered from his craft.

He begged his wife to hold him down
but she just laughed.

He drove to the beach, and knelt
at the edge of the sea,

swallowing pebbles to weight
his stomach with ballast.

The water was black, except where the moon
lit fires in the breaking waves.

He saw the god whose home
is under the ocean's storms —

the bubbles of his breath
shooting to the surface.

Here was another man
who had to eat stones.

He plunged into the burning water
to meet him.