For My Birthday

For my birthday, God gave me a cake.

He frosted it with filigrees of color from
countless vermilion sunsets
shining on sapphire
seas and ochroid sands.

Inside, a feast of worms.

He set it on a plate decorated
with images of doves and
dying children.

“Make a wish,” He said,
with a smile
of expectation.

I could not meet his eye.

“Really,” I said, “You shouldn’t have.”
—Lester Smith
(Originally appeared in Woud You Dance?)

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