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Mimi Khalvati

If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me.

If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me.


If you are the rhyme and I the refrain, don’t hang

on my lips, come and I’ll come too when you cue me.


If yours is the iron fist in the velvet glove

when the arrow flies, the heart is pierced, tattoo me.


If mine is the venomous tongue, the serpent’s tail,

charmer, use your charm, weave a spell and subdue me.


If I am the laurel that wreathes your brow, you are

the arms around my bark, arms that never knew me.


Oh would that I were bark! So old and still in leaf.

And you, dropping in my shade, dew to bedew me!


What shape should I take to marry your own, have you –

hawk to my shadow, moth to my flame – pursue me?


If I rise in the east as you die in the west,

die for my sake, my love, every night renew me.


If, when it ends, we are just good friends, be my Friend,

muse, brother and guide, Shamsuddin to my Rumi.


Be heaven and earth to me and I’ll be twice the me

I am, if only half the world you are to me.


From Acumen No 50 (September 2004)