November 9

from “A Year with Rumi,” by Coleman Barks

You ask, Why do you cry

with such sweetness all around?

I weep as I make the honey,

wearing the shirt of a bee,

and I refuse to share this suffering.

I play the sky’s harp.

I curl around my treasure like a snake.

You say, What is this I  business?

Friend, I have been a long time away from that.

What you see here is your own reflection.

I am still raw, and at the same time

well-cooked, and burnt to a crisp.

No one can tell if I’m laughing

or weeping. I wonder myself.

How can I be separated and yet in union?


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