No one ever tells the truth about the Buddha
He was a prince from the east, of course
He sat under a tree, of course
He saw suffering in the world, of course
His father rose to power with a magic lamp
Three wishes… the third for a mighty son,
a cunning son, a brave son, a glorious leader of men
So mighty was the son, that he slipped away in the night with
the concubine that had spent all her wishes on youth and beauty
and the magic lamp. Under trees, they went, because
the mangroves shadowed them from the harem guards
the water at the feet of the mangroves hid their sandals.
They would not waste his wishes upon escape.
Once liberated, and hiding in the woods
He and I had the papyrus with the careful wording of wishes,
They read over and over what we would wish for.
Night fell, and he was still adjusting the wording
Sunrise, and we was exhausted.
He touched the concubines nose to wake her.
She was disguised as a begger.
She stepped out into the world to distract from the prince hiding in the shadow, with the lamp
the Djinni would be a flash of white light. Long har. Lustrous, bearded, gaunt.
I admit the Djinni looked very much like Jesus Christ.
I admit, as well, that the man who kicked the concubine into the mud
He looked very much like a young Mohammed.
Anyway, Buddha sat there, looking at the concubine disguised as a beggar.
All he had to do was rub the lamp, make a wish, and
everything would be
He just sat there, under the tree, holding the lamp, the papyrus.
The concubine waited for days, until the beggar clothes and mud smeared away her beauty.
She waited and waited for him.
The wishes she had made became like a curse.
He was looking at his lover, his immortal beloved,
She was filthy, kneeling in mud and ox dung.
She help up her hands and begged for coin.
There, he had his enlightenment, without any help from the lamp.
I admit that I was the beggar, and the concubine that inspired the Buddha.
I still have the lamp, but it does nothing for me, who exhausted my wishes on vanities.
I could paint his face from memory.
I have given this lamp to thousands upon thousands of lovers.
None but the Buddha rejected the miracles contained inside.
Still, I give them the lamp.
Always, I give them the lamp.
Make a wish, my love, I always say.