My multi-pleated trousers bound to my bony hips by a
shoelace, hiding the shape of my old belly,
like a petrified lump of bread in a ragged pocket.
Hunger has built its nest in my desolate stomach’s
entrails. It has become fruitful and multiplied,
filling my insides with
thousands of burning hungers.
Hey! Unplug my mouth!
I’m going to gulp down all the granaries in the
world. Breakfast…Lunch…Dinner…
I’ll join the everlasting royal banquet.
I’ll gorge myself without restraint,
use my nails for forks to grab the browned, fat
meats, spiced with dill and garlic,
the hot peppered sauces, giving off their tingly heavenly
odors, the creamy cakes covered with melted butter…
and more cakes to tickle my palate,
fried onion sauces with mayonnaise salads and
meats, roasted, cooked, fried, and smoked.
Here come the appetizer, the entree and more,
millions of meals, meat and dairy:
May my ears shake with gluttony
and my thirsty eyes fill with lust,
May my chin drip with thick, gluey fat
I’ll wipe with neither hand or sleeve.
May the craving of my tongue fill the city
squares, With or without a ‘bon appetit’!

Eeerup! I’ll let out a mighty burp and cry,
“Ladies and gentlemen, just a bit more, until I am sated.”
Meanwhile, I luxuriate in meals digested long
ago. With hands raised to heaven,
I beg for alms like all the world’s beggars,
Who would bring forth bread from the
earth, though by devious means.
Dear God, have you ever gone hungry?

Joseph Bau

Joseph Bau was in the Plashow Concentration camp