"Wine from Rumi's bottle" - Shafkat Khan




"Wine from Rumi's bottle" - Shafkat Khan

Falling in love is much like
reading Rumi's poems.

Never ask if this is the best
poem this night,
but ask if the poem
speaks to you.

Ask if the bottle
from which you drink
is a gift,
and not if that bottle is the best
you could buy at the last call
of the Vintner.

The Vintner wishes you to
taste the wine,
feel it in your tongue,
infuse the sweet aroma in your breath;
and neither to own
nor to enslave the wine.

The wine you want to own
may not ever be truly yours.
But, at the end of the night,
the bottle that
holds you gently at a kiss's distance
wishes of your lips.
Only at that hour
the two of you become one,
for you become the lover, keeper, and dreamer
of the bottle.

Falling in love is much like
reading Rumi's poems.
If you're wishing for a different poem,
you keep on wishing.
Because gathering close to the heart
what is yours,
and not asking if it is the
best you can gather is the secret of love.

Open the bottle.
Breathe in your lover's breath.
Drink the Red.
Kiss the lips.
Read of Rumi.
Or the glow of the morning sun
can never caress your naked flesh.
Or the silver of the fullest moon
can never shine on your naked soul.

---

A note from Shafkat:  "Dedicated to Michelle Castleberry and Matt DeGennaro.  The muse for this poem is a secret who I keep deep in my bottle. And of course, Rumi."

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