translation by M. Shahid Alam
I can’t have it – you say – if you find my heart.
Once – it was mine. Now I know who has it.
Love is easily the best part of life. This pain
cures life’s itch: there is no cure for it.
She is coy & cunning, sweet – exacting too.
She is testing me when I do not know it.
The plain truth about my heart is this.
Every time I look for it, she says she has it.
My mentor likes to rub salt in my wounds.
Sir Tormentor, I ask, what is your reason for it?
-See also Ghazal from Ghalib (I)
– A variant of this translation has appeared in Paintbrush (1999/2000).
– M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism (Palgrave, 2009). You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.