First Love

by Yehuda Amichai

I was blind to you when you loved me long ago.
I switched you for another, like Isaac,
for a smell, and a taste, and an appetite for meat,
for a fragrance of the field, and a house, and a little heat.
I have forgotten the words
of the only letter I wrote to you.
All that I remember is the taste of the glue of the stamp
on my tongue.
The fate that determined us was not really
but it was as strong and sure as the finger of the violinist
that determines the fate of a note,
though it, too, is as final and as decisive
as death.

(Translated, from the Hebrew, by Leon Wieseltier.)


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