Rumi, “Lightning.”

Translated by Coleman Barks.

“This is no ordinary friendship.
I attend your banquet as wine attends.

Like lightning, I am an expert at dying.
Like lightning, this beauty has no language.

It makes no difference
whether I win or lose.

You sit with us in a congregation of the dead,
where one handful of dirt says,
I was once a head of hair.

Another, I was a backbone.
You say nothing.

Love comes in, I can deliver you
from yourself in this moment.

Now lover and beloved grow quiet.
My mouth is burning with sweetness.”

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