Love At First Site 

Love at First Sight
-Wislawa Szymborska, (1923 – 2012)
They’re both convinced

that a sudden passion joined them.

Such certainty is beautiful,

but uncertainty is more beautiful still.
Since they’d never met before, they’re sure

that there’d been nothing between them.

But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—

perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?
I want to ask them

if they don’t remember—

a moment face to face

in some revolving door?

perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?

a curt “wrong number” caught in the receiver?—

but I know the answer.

No, they don’t remember.
They’d be amazed to hear

that Chance has been toying with them

now for years.
Not quite ready yet

to become their Destiny,

it pushed them close, drove them apart,

it barred their path,

stifling a laugh,

and then leaped aside.
There were signs and signals,

even if they couldn’t read them yet.

Perhaps three years ago

or just last Tuesday

a certain leaf fluttered

from one shoulder to another?

Something was dropped and then picked up.

Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished

into childhood’s thicket?
There were doorknobs and doorbells

where one touch had covered another


Suitcases checked and standing side by side.

One night, perhaps, the same dream,

grown hazy by morning.
Every beginning

is only a sequel, after all,

and the book of events

is always open halfway through.

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