GHAZAL [Hijab-i chehr-i jan mishavad ghubar-i manam]

The dust of my body veils the face of my soul.
Happy the moment I can pull the veil from that face.

Such a cage is unjust, because my voice is beautiful.
I am a bird of Heaven’s garden. I will go there.

Where I was and why I came are not clear.
It’s too bad I don’t understand.

How can I circumambulate the vast expanse of Heaven
when I am boarded up in the mud brick house of my body?

If the scent of joy spills from my heart’s blood, don’t be surprised,
for it is like the musk sac of a stag from Khotan.

Don’t be distracted by the flickering of my gold-embroidered shirt,
for hidden fires blaze beneath it.

Come, take Hafiz’s life from him.
As long as there is you, no one will hear from me that I am I.


Published in:
Little Star Journal Blog (April 2011). Other ghazals appeared in Ploughshares. 38 (Winter 1995), The Harvard Review. 8 (Spring 1995), The Agni Review, Antaeus, The Falcon.