The black of my irises,
those simple, reclusive Sufis of mine
swooned in the song-spell of his eyes.

I sensed him billow all around me,
radiating towards infinity
to the other side of life
like fire’s red pyramid,
like a cloud in spasm of rain,
like a sky embraced
by warm seasons’ breath.

I sensed that in the breeze
of his hands’ movements
the substance of my being
was disintegrating.
I sensed his heart peal inside mine
like the bell of a wandering sorcerer.

The clock took flight.
The curtain withdrew with the wind.
I had pressed him to myself
inside the halo of that fire
and I wanted to say something
but to my astonishment
his thick shadowing lashes
released themselves like silk strands
from the base of darkness
along desire’s long trail
and through the tremor
—that deathly tremor—
to the end of my end.

I sensed my release.
I sensed my release.

I sensed my skin crack from love’s dilating joy,
as my flaming mass melted slowly
and flowed, streamed and flowed
into the moon,  
a turbulent blurry moon
drowned in a ditch.

We had cried into each other.
We had madly lived a moment’s
ephemeral union inside one other.

– Forough Farrokhzad. Connection

translated by Sholeh Wolpé


You the dawn and I
the candle of the night retreat!
Smile as you watch me
surrender my soul

Your hair has stained my heart
so deep, my tomb
will be a bed of violets
when I pass away

I open my eye to you
on the threshold of hope
that you’ll give me one more glance
as you cast me from your vision

Can’t thank you enough,
sorrows, bless you!
When I was alone
you were by my side

I am the slave of the pupil
of my eye. From an obsidian heart,
while I count the wounds of love,
it launches a thousand tears

This idol of ours displays her splendor
to every gaze, but the look
I cast from every side
nobody sees

If she like the breeze slips longing
past the grave of Hafez,
from the heart of the chamber
I’ll tear the shroud

– Hafez

translated by Michael Sells