Stefano craved a modicum of everything:

the gist of every book ever written,

the keynote of every piece of music,

a kiss from every woman he passed on the beach,

a bite of every fruit and vegetable, fish and flesh,

a taste of every dollop dropped into a soup


Exhausted by his thoughts, he ordered a platter

of burritos and beans at the Mexican restaurant

on the dock where tourists left the cruise ships,

contemplated what a fool he had been

No one had ever been able to do what he wanted to do,

have a nibble of everything


After he had wiped his plate clean,

he used a paper napkin,

pushed back the salt charred chair and started up the beach,

lessons unlearned, eager to find the girl of the day


A conch shell rolled past his feet out of the froth

and he took it as a sign

The sky looked so big above the blue water he felt afraid,

felt very, very small diving into the sea