A lover was telling his beloved
how much he loved her, how faithful
he had been, how self-sacrificing, getting up
at dawn every morning, fasting, giving up
wealth and strength and fame,
all for her.
There was a fire in him.
He didn't know where it came from,
but it made him weep and melt like a candle.
"You've done well," she said, "but listen to me.
All this is the decor of love, the branches
and leaves and blossoms. You must live
at the root to be a true lover."
"Where is that!
"You've done the outward acts,
but you haven't died. You must die."
When he heard that, he lay back on the ground
laughing, and died. He opened like a rose
that drops to the ground and died laughing.
That laughter was his freedom,
and his gift to the eternal.
As moonlight shines back at the sun,
he heard the call to come home, and went.
When light returns to its source,
it takes nothing
of what it has illuminated.
It may have shone on a garbage dump, or a garden,
or in the center of a human eye. No matter.
It goes, and when it does,
the open plain becomes passionately desolate,
wanting it back.