the first love’s most important.
That’s very romantic,
but not my experience.
Something was and wasn’t there between us,
something went on and went away.
My hands never tremble
when I stumble on silly keepsakes
and a sheaf of letters tied with string
— not even ribbon.
Our only meeting after years:
two chairs chatting
at a chilly table.
still breathe deep inside me.
This one’s too short of breath even to sigh.
Yet just exactly as it is,
it does what the others still can’t manage:
not even seen in dreams,
it introduces me to death.
-Wislawa Szymborska, from Monologue of a Dog, translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak