Consider the Eater of Hope
How he lingers in the dark threads
of water in the cracks of old concrete
How he crawls head down, like a nuthatch
on the trunk of the world, searching
for plans and little grubs
How his translucent eyelids
flutter pinkly in the midday sun
that causes him such pain.
Consider how he edges backward
along mildewed porch railings,
inviting memories to take his place.
He prepares a honey stick
for termite mounds and
hairstyles that don't work out:
No one has ever claimed
he is not clever with his hands.
A pamphlet from the county extension
advises not leaving your laptop open
with affectionate emails displayed;
not kissing in public,
and not reaching to stroke the
of the ears of the stranger
sitting in the seat
in front of yours, who
is reading Middlemarch on the bus:
once the attention of an Eater
has been attracted, they say,
it is very hard to shake.