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First Love - Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

They say
the first love is the most important.
That's very romantic
but it's not the case with me.

There was something between us yet there wasn't.
It transpired and expired.

My hands don't tremble,
when I stumble upon small mementos
or a stack of letters wrapped in twine
—not even a ribbon.

Our only meeting after all these years
is a conversation between two chairs
at a cold table.

Other loves
still breathe deeply within me.
This one lacks the breath to sigh.

But still, just the way it is,
it can do what the rest are not yet able to do:
unremembered
not even dreamt of
it accustoms me to death.

Translated by Joanna Trzeciak


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