Lovers with 3-D glasses at the Palace Theatre (Infra-red), 1943. Photo by Weegee.
The Vigil ...from The Essential Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)
Don’t go to sleep one night.
What you most want will come to you then.
Warmed by a sun inside, you’ll see wonders.
Tonight, don’t put your head down.
Be tough, and strength will come.
That which adoration adores
appears at night. Those asleep
may miss it. One night Moses stayed awake
and asked, and saw a light in a tree.
Then he walked at night for ten years,
until finally he saw the whole tree
illuminated. Muhammad rode his horse
through the night sky. The day is for work.
The night for love. Don’t let someone
bewitch you. Some people sleep at night.
But not lovers. They sit in the dark
and talk to God, who told David,
“Those who sleep all night every night
and claim to be connected to us, they lie.”
Lovers can’t sleep when they feel the privacy
of the beloved all around them. Someone
who’s thirsty may sleep for a little while,
but he or she will dream of water, a full jar
beside a creek, or the spiritual water you get
from another person. All night, listen
to the conversation. Stay up.
This moment is all there is.
Death will take it away soon enough.
You’ll be gone, and this earth will be left
without a sweetheart, nothing but weeds
growing inside thorns.
I’m through. Read the rest of this poem
in the dark tonight.
Do I have a head? And feet?
Shams, so loved by Tabrizians, I close my lips.
I wait for you to come and open them.