When he thought of onions he thought of hamburger and crows and empty sky.

In the novel he saw the word "hunger" painted in printer's cursive.

Bobby said, "Let's have hamburgers."

Which the man thought funny. On the lawn, he saw crows walking, a few dry leaves trundling, and from the distance came the sound of children calling, and beyond even that, the sounds of a life: a father laughing in the garage with friends, a mother on the phone, rumors of tornado and the doom of treeless flatlands. For a brief moment he held an umbilical cord, which was purple, slender, and slippery.

"What's with those crows?" Bobby asked.

"Don't worry about the crows," the man said. "Storm's coming. See the children dashing home."