When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.
(Translator: Coleman Barks)
* * *
(In a lazy, languid whisper, I would add: He explains Sufism to me, and tells me about metaphors, hidden meanings, layers, history, culture. I listen to a beautiful voice speaking beautiful words. And choose to be literal, to dig no deeper into the metaphor, enjoy the beauty of the moment.)
In a normal voice, I might say: “I am your mirror, and here are the stones.”
I won’t shout.