She keeps a store for hearts lost and stolen.
Should I lose one I know where to look for it.
Life’s longest epic is a day in love. I gave up
All my cares for one that takes no cure.
In life, she is laid back, in love enigmatic.
What if she plays cool, she is aching for you.
For many years now, I have polished this heart.
I will get its value when she puts a price on it.
I know you like to rub salt in my wounds.
This cauterizes me: what does it do for you?
Ghazal from Ghalib
translation by M. Shahid Alam first appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Winter 2013