You left ground and sky weeping,
mind and soul full of grief.
No one can take your place in existence,
or in absence. Both mourn, the angels, the prophets,
and this sadness I feel has taken from me
the taste of language, so that I cannot say
the flavor of my being apart.
The roof of the kingdom within has collapsed.
When I say the word you, I mean a hundred universes.
Pouring grief water or secret dripping
in the heart, eyes in the head,
or eyes of the soul, I saw yesterday
that all these flow out to find you
when you’re not here.
That bright firebird Saladin
went like an arrow,
and now the bow trembles and sobs.
If you know how to weep
for human beings, weep for Saladin.
Your dark hair, beloved—is it a river flowing amid the banks of eternity, carrying, in its surge, all the stars towards some hidden shore? Or is it an ocean of mist, a womb deeper than the night, one from whose invisible flesh all the stars are born? Which is it, I cannot decide. Yet by its surge I am carried; in the flick of its wind, born. And this, each minute, each second, right into the timeless sphere that binds me to your core; binds me as a ray of sunlight issues from the source.
Only as she disappears and is hidden
does the moon become full,
realizing her mystical depths,
uncovering her original, white face.
So I, in my coming or going
cannot be displaced from You,
for, disappearing from my self,
with You, in You, I have become full.
Her hand touches
the pure, clear water
and lo! as though it were lit
by a fire from within
its clarity becomes iridescent,
crystalline transparency glowing
with the effulgence of a thousand suns
as in the burning deeps forms
the face of the Beloved.
“Where is it that you hid, Beloved, and left me to lament?” St. John of the Cross
tender ripples of ecstasy
coursing underneath our skin,
harbingers of abandonment
in the burning mouth of stars.
The tree of white flowers
blossoms inside our merged bodies,
arching our backs and breaking our ribs
as it raises us to deliver us, headless,
to the altar of the sky.