Scarlet Begonia

“You miss the garden,

because you want a small fig from a random tree.

You do not meet the beautiful woman.

You are joking with an old crone.

It makes me cry how she detains you,

stinking-mouthed with a hundred talons,

putting her head over the roof edge to call down,

tasteless fig, fold over fold, empty

as a dry-rotten garlic.

She has you tight by the belt, even though there is no flower

and no milk inside her body.

Death will open your eyes

to what her face is: leather spine

of a black lizard. No more advice.

Let yourself be silently drawn

by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

Maulana Rumi, from Coleman Bark’s A Year with Rumi

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