A Mystic and a Drunk – Rumi
The universe turns on an axis.
Let my soul circle around a table
like a beggar, like a planet
rolling in the vast, totally helpless and free.
The Knight and the castle move jaggedly
about the chessboard, but they’re actually
centered on the king. They circle.
If love is your center, a ring
gets put on your finger.
Something inside the moth
is made of fire.
A mystic touches the annihilating tip
of pure nothing.
A drunkard thinks peeing is absolution.
Lord, take these impurities from me.
The lord replies, First, understand
the nature of impurity. If your key is bent,
the lock will not open.
I fall silent.
King Shams has come.
Always when I close, he opens.
Photo: Alba Street, Portland, ME – September 2013