Amir Khusrau: My Wounded Heart

There is a prosperous and populous city
where fragments of moon gleam at every turn.
Each fragment holds a shard of my shattered heart.

Examine everyone’s appearance closely.
Among these shapes, there is a bloodthirsty
archer, aiming to slay me with his bolts.
Anyone wishing to vie with him in beauty
and allure must have cheeks of rose petals
and a cypress’s lithe grace. Others worship
the pale moon of his face as if it were
the sun, but no such celestial orb
rises to rule my fateful horoscope.

Love for you has tunnelled its way deep
into the cavity of my chest where
my wounded heart sleeps like an infant
in the cradle.

When he promises union,
he covers his face and hides himself away.
What can Khusrau do but give his soul
to whoever happens to be looking on?

from In the Bazaar of Love – The Selected Poetry of Amir Khusrau
Translated by Paul E. Losensky and Sunil Sharma

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