In absence, aloe wood burns fragrant.
The love we feel is smoke from that.
Existence gets painted with non-existence,
its source, the fire behind the screen.
Smoke born of this fire hides the fire!
Pass through the smoke. Soul, a moving
river; body, the riverbed. Soul can
break the circle of fate and habit.
Take hold the hand of absence and let
it draw you through the Pleiades,
giving up wet and dry, hot and cold.
You become a confidante of Shams Tabriz.
You see clearly the glory of nothing
and stand, inexplicably, there.
-- Ghazal (Ode) 2949
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
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