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Birthday Prayer

An extravagant chocolate cake is my contribution to a friend’s birthday party. Standing in a crowded bakery, I decide on one that has blueberry filling between the tall chocolate layers with a grand flourish of chocolate calla lilies draped across the top.

The clerk lifts the cake from the refrigerated display case, places candles on it, and ceremoniously lights them.  I’m shocked.  This isn’t right for her to light them and I don’t know how I’ll explain it when I get to the party.  She ignores my objections and begins to softly instruct the candles to bring light to the party. The tiny flames were to teach us how to suck the essence from the creamy darkness and the thin berry blueness, allowing us to live exclusively on the sweetness.