I keep asking you for stones and expecting some bread,
And now there are snakes nipping at my toes and knees.
Something howls through me, an emptiness
(Because I cannot eat stones, cannot eat snakes,
And I have gone hungry for many hours, many days).
What was it you said that time when I knelt down
And the sand ate at my skin and threatened to swallow me?
I thought I heard you offering bread,
But perhaps it was the desert wind.
Sorry about the time I got distracted and annoyed;
I struck one of the rocks you gave,
Struck it so it oozed with water, struck it instead of me.
Now I am unbruised, unoozing, and alone and howling.
I am the one sitting in the glittering sand,
Thousands around me, snakes edging up to me,
Nipping my ankles and toes.