A show of orchids
A diversion in four parts
Part 3: What else?
What else will a smiling bud do
but bloom in laughter?
What else will a flagpole do
but grip its wind-whipped flag?
If a ripe pomegranate on a branch
doesn’t open its ruby mouth to the birds,
what else will it do?
Moonlight seduces you.
Sunlight feeds you.
What more would you want them to do?
When a shadow sees the sun’s face, it bows.
When lovers catch a whiff of your fragrant shirt,
they tear off their own.
And the dead?
What else can they do but lie stone still?
Love, you strung my heart with gold.
What else can I do but sing?
—Rumi, Gold (translated by Haleh Liza Gafori)
The diversion concludes next week.