Adam Zagajewski - NOW THAT YOU’VE LOST YOUR MEMORY

Now that you’ve lost your memory
and can only smile, defenseless,
I want to help—it was you,
after all, who opened my imagination like a demiurge.
I remember our excursions, woolly clouds
swimming low over a damp mountain forest
(you knew every path in those woods), and
the summer day when we scaled the heights
of a lighthouse above the Baltic
and we watched the endless rippling of the sea,
its white stitches frayed like basted seams.
I won’t forget that moment, I think you were
moved too—we seemed to see the whole world,
boundless, calmly breathing, blue and perfect,
at once distinct and hazy, near and distant;
we felt the planet’s roundness, we heard the gulls,
who played at aimless gliding
through warm and chilly currents of the air.
I can’t help you, I have only one memory.

Translated by Clare Cavanagh