WHOEVER BROUGHT ME HERE WILL HAVE TO TAKE ME HOME

Hanna Hamida Hughes
inspired by Coleman Barks’ translations of Rumi

What a strange thing this sensation is: this gilding of my vision

And burnishing of my throat.

Honeyed anticipation seeps through the walls

And drips from my fingers.

Like children our mouths are already stained by the pomegranate

Even before the sun has finished painting the sky red.

Tomorrow is an age to come: we have the warm breeze

And the sweet fruit and we may swim through the golden honey to our hearts’ content.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.

When I get back around to that place I’ll be completely sober.

Come then, onward!

Advance ye legions into the singing night.

 

Tell us the truth: who are you?

You were silly and left your hat and coat at the last place

We hardly recognised you!While you’re at it, examine me.

Make a portrait of me in your style: I want to see myself a stranger

Dreadfully unfamiliar with carved ebony curls.

The barrel is still half full and I am sure that I will learn to fly

Before I get home tonight. You will too.

We glow and glow again

But I think it is just the residual sunlight

Caught in our honey hair, skin and bones.

We will not sleep tonight

But that’s alright:

There is always tomorrow, and the sun.

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© Helicon Magazine 2019

University of Bristol