The Beloved’s Cake
You want to know what the world is, friend?
Don’t go to scientists;
they just make up answers as they go.
Nor to priests;
they just rely on others’ words to know.
Nor to those who wallow in the wealth;
they see as far as they can grab.
But I will tell you.
The world is a cake.
A cake given to all of us by the Beloved,
to stuff our faces.
The Beloved has baked it lovingly,
and three layers does it have:
The top is piled high with frosting.
A great coating of sugar.
Most feast only on this sugar coating
that quickly pleases the taste.
Yet it is only sugar
and soon stomach aches follow.
This frosting never fills the belly
and strength fades swiftly away.
The second layer is not so sweet.
Only those tired with the emptiness of the frosting
will begin to taste the layer beneath the sugar.
You might not want to know, dear friend,
what this layer is made out of,
but I will tell you anyway;
for one day all must taste it.
It is made out of dung.
Not too tasty, I know.
And no matter how much frosting
you may eat with this dung
you will taste only sorrow.
No matter how high you pile it on,
no matter how thick,
your tongue will be covered with sugared shit.
However, do not despair
and shout to the Beloved:
'Don’t you know how to bake!?
What kind of cake is this!?’
Do not ask the Beloved to bake a new cake.
It is perfect as it is.
Instead, take the knife, friend,
the knife of discrimination
that the Beloved holds out to you,
which has been sharpened
upon the whetstone of all your disappointments.
Do not rant and spit out all that you have tasted
and say you will eat no more.
Take the knife
Down through the final layer.
And make it a big piece.
Janaka took a piece.
At first just a sliver,
not wanting to appear too greedy.
But the Beloved is from the old country
And sees the guest as God,
and shoved the whole cake onto his plate.
And when Janaka shoved the whole thing
into his fat mouth
he could not even utter a word.
He could only smile.
What was the third layer made out of?
The heart of the Beloved--
Dripping with sweet love!
And what a treat it was!
from Beyond the Beyond: Poems to my Beloved Self, Janaka Stagnaro
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