A tattered nightgown draped across tiny feet.
A mussy-haired girl, abandoned.
She had holes in her being already.
There was the unmistakable clocking of bones when she moved. A reminder of those she had lost. A ghostly wind chime.
Masked cocoa eyes.
She craved dirt.
In stolen moments she would kneel and grab lumps of rich, moist loam and load them into her mouth. The grit, the richness, the sediment remaining of her buried loved ones was a taste of divinity. In brief moments, it filled her holes.
One bite: she can see her brother opening a coconut for the two to share.
Second bite: she hears her father singing and feels the humidity of the morning on her bed linen
Third bite: her grandmother quietly prays beside her, in the cemetery.
Last bite: she holds her mother’s hand as the two ind down the sandy path shaded with verdantly wild foliage.
For once she was full, for once she was completed, for once the cravings subsided and her soul quieted.
A shuffle, a snap of a far away branch, a distant murmur was enough to get her off her knees.
With a backhanded wipe of the mouth and the final resounding feeling of what peace and death feels like remained until the last pieces of dirt were swallowed.
Then again the wind could cut through her holes.
Then again the clocking bones haunted her movements.
And she wondered when she would eat again while her toes danced in the sweet earth.