Only Breath

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim or Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity of this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body nor soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath, breathing human being.

                       *

There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.

In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.


Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī
,
translation by Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi