“Champion Lovemaker and Leader of Men” (Rumi)

If you could not feel tenderness and hurt, if you could live in the poorhouse of not-wanting

and never be indignant, if you could take two steps away from the beautiful one

you want so much to lie down with, if you could trust that there is a spirit wife for you somewhere, a nest, a jewel setting where when you sit down

you know you have always wanted to be, if you could quit living here and go there, if you could remember clearly what you have done.

But strong hooks hold you in this wind. So many people love you. You mix with the color and the smell and the taste

of your surroundings, champion lovemaker and leader of men. You cannot give up your public fascination

or your compassion for the dying.

There is another compassion

that you do not know yet, but you may, when griefs disappear.

It is a place, with no questioning thorns in the pasture grass. If you could remember that you are not a crow, but the mystic osprey that never needs to light, you could be walking there now with Shams.

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