Before a Journey
They call it: space.
It’s easy to define with that one word,
much harder with many.
Empty and full of everything at once?
Shut tight in spite of being open,
can escape from it?
Inflated beyond all limits?
And if it has a limit,
what the devil does it border on?
Well, all fine and good. But go to sleep now.
It’s night, tomorrow you’ve got more pressing matters
made to measure for you:
touching objects close at hand,
casting glances at the intended distance.
Listening to voices within earshot.
Then that journey from point A to point B.
Departure at 12:40 local time,
and flight above the puffs of local clouds
through whichever infinitely
fleeting strip of sky.
~ Wisława Szymborska
translated from the Polish
by Claire Cavanagh & Stanislaw Barańczak