To say more of your names: you
are the one who was with us

at the beginning, telling secrets
in the first house. We were

afraid of fire, but then we found
your flame. You are also a wind

that puts out the mind's candle,
that city leveled. With friends,

friendship. With enemies, the
standing apart, or right in

the middle, resembling both.
Knowledgeable ones sigh their

disdain: "Oh the stories lovers
tell!" But you are those stories,

you that bring dawn to the end of
night. Beauty that orginates,

the look and the presence inside
the look, majesty of Shamsuddin,

praise and the light-connecting
ligaments that holds this earth.

Excerpted with permission from The Glance: Songs of Soul Meeting by Coleman Barks. Viking, 1999.
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