The First Madrigal


That night of love was pure
as an antique musical instrument
and the air around it.

Rich
as a ceremony of coronation.
It was fleshy as a belly of a woman in labor
and spiritual
as a number.

It was only a moment of life
and it wanted to be a conclusion drawn from life.
By dying
it wanted to comprehend the principle of the world.

That night of love
had ambitions.


                  Polish; trans. Czeslaw Milosz
                      & Leonard Nathan


Anna Swir, Polish, trans. Czeslaw Milosz & Leonard Nathan, Talking to My Body, Copper Canyon Press, 1996.