“A Thirsty Fish” (Rumi)

I do not get tired of you. Do not grow weary of being compassionate toward me.

All this thirst-equipment must surely be tired of me, the water jar and the water-carrier.

I have a thirsty fish in me

that can never find enough of what it is thirsty for.

Show me the way to the ocean. Break these half measures, these small containers. All this fantasy and grief.

Let my house be drowned in the wave that rose last night

out of the courtyard hidden in the center of my chest.

Joseph fell like a moon into my well. The harvest I expected was washed away. But no matter.

A fire has risen above my tombstone hat. I do not want learning, or dignity, or respectability.

I want this music and this dawn

and the warmth of your cheek against mine.

The grief-armies assemble, but I am not going with them.

This is how it always is when I finish a poem. A great silence overcomes me, and I wonder why I ever thought to use language.

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