You can listen to me read this poem here.
My love for pi is irrational—
cherry pi, chicken pot pi, pasty,
which is just a nicely enveloped Cornish pi.
Give me most anything baked with a crust
and a yummy filling in the pan the precise ratio
of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
It comes from “magpie,” the kind we eat,
birds that collect whatever catches their eye
we humans can put into pi.
I am not as fond of cake, which has sweetness
built in, thanks to flour, sugar, eggs, powder, soda,
and frosting that can run too sweet, lacking
the toothsome crust of pi.
Ah… but cheesecake—which some insist
is not truly a cake but a form of pi—
the right cheesecake I would die for,
not unlike the young nephew whose mother
made him cheesecake for every birthday,
the only “cake” he truly loved, his mother
annually insisting as she served it at the table,
“It’s easy, anyone can do it,”
though, truly, no one could, especially after that son,
who, only weeks after eating his mother’s cheesecake
for his final birthday, slipped like a boneless thing
off his desk chair at home to the floor, heartstopped,
tootoo young, soso gone.
His mother still makes cheesecake for the family
on his birthday, so that each of us can take
a forkful of remembrance, bite into that
soft bit of sweet, mouth the crumbly crust
and give thanks again for the rough bits
under which hides, like the mystery of pi,
all kinds of love.
In memory of Mitchell Malekian