Without A Title


The two of them were left so long alone,

so much in un-love, without a word to spare,

what they deserve by now is probably

a miracle – a thunderbolt, or turning into stone.

Two million books in print on Greek mythology,

but there’s no rescue in them for this pair.


If at least someone would ring the bell, or if

something would flare and disappear again,

no matter from where and no matter when,

no matter if it’s fun, fear, joy or grief.


But nothing of the sort. No aberration,

no deviation from the well-made plot

this bourgeois drama holds. There’ll be a dot

above the “i” inside their tidy separation.


Against the backdrop of the steadfast wall,

pitying one another, they both stare

into the mirror, but there’s nothing there

except their sensible reflections. All


they see is the two people in the frame.

Matter is on alert. All its dimensions,

everything in between the ground and sky

keeps close watch on the fates that we were born with

and sees to it that they remain the same –

although we still don’t see the reason why

a sudden deer bounding across this room

would shatter the entire universe.



Wisława Szymborska  

(from Salt 1962)