Command That These Stones Be Made Bread

The teeth in the mouth of the Eater of Books are small and wide-spaced with the dark of her throat peeping through. Her breath is sweetish with ink and binder’s glue.

Fondest of mysteries and paleontological books, her tastes are nevertheless catholic. She favors libraries, used bookstores and estate sales; books that haved passed under many eyes and through many hands.

Religious books — those bibles, korans, vedas, torahs, doctrines and covenants — are sharp, complex and bitter as herbs. She savors each successive translation, every contentious septuagint between writer and reader. These books too have wandered in the desert.

Sweetest of all are those books still unfinished. Heady brew, she cannot indulge so often; juniper berries, black pepper, fermented honey; water fresh from the rock. She swallows them down in secular silence, projects abandoned, unseen, best-loved, grows dizzy-drunk on squandered promise and deadlines delayed.