The body is a limit,
so Papa Mann taught little Manns at the pastry shop,
where Thomas ate cream rolls, cream cakes, cream puffs
until his body screamed, stop!
The book has another story about greed, a parable.
Two men were told by a rich landowner
they would receive all the land their feet could circumscribe
The first man took note of the position of the sun in the clear sky,
measured his stride, estimated his speed, and walked, and turned
right angle, and walked, and turned again, and walked the square
which he settled with farm, wife, four kids, and a gaggle of geese.
The other man, the greedy one, ran
faster than his legs could carry him, stumbling on flat land, thrashing through thickets,
ran curving in when he remembered the countdown, ran straightening out
when he remembered his dream of a commonwealth—cream cakes for everyone—
his body screaming, stop! and, when he refused, his body
stopped him in his tracks, as they say,
and he collapsed,
just as the sun conveniently set on him.
Father, you gave me that book for my birthday. Look, Father, I’m running,
big is my appetite, strong are my feet
wavering between line and curve,
my circle incomplete.