The Sky
Wislawa Szymborska
We should have started from this: the sky.
A window without a sill, frame, or pane.
An opening and nothing more,
but open wide.

I need not wait for a clear night
nor crane my neck
to examine the sky.
I have the sky at my back, at hand, and on my eyelids.
The sky wraps me snugly
and lifts me from below.

Even the highest mountains
are no nearer the sky than the deepest valleys.
There is no more sky in one place
than another.
A cloud is crushed by sky as ruthlessly as a grave.
A mole is as enraptured
as a wing-fluttering owl.
A object falling into a precipice
falls from the sky into sky.
Granular, liquid, craggy,
fiery and volatile
expanses of sky, crumbs of sky,
puffs and snatches of sky.
The sky is omnipresent
even in darkness under the skin.
I eat sky, I excrete sky.
I am a trap inside a trap,
an inhabited inhabitant,
an embraced embrace,
a question in answer to a question.

To divide earth and sky
is not the correct way
to consider this whole.
It merely allows survival
under a more precise address,
quicker to be found
if I were to be looked up.
My call words
are delight and despair.

-translated by Walter Whipple