What essence remains in the dry grass
when it gives itself to the fire?
A single blade
before the flame
has no say.
I see You, Beloved,
in the green
at the tip of the redwood bough,
in the yellow roses
climbing up the garden arch,
but could it also be You
carving the fine lines into my face
that will deepen into wrinkles,
drawing the color from my hair?
My own aging is the flame
and You the all-consuming fire.
Title from a poem by Lal Ded, a 14th century woman mystic from Kashmir