First Feelings First

by Nina Cassian

“Everything always happens for the first time,” I said
He answered “No.”
How could you recognize a frog
if you hadn’t seen one before?
How could you avoid burning your fingers
if you hadn’t been touched, at least once, by a flame?

I have recollections, but no experience, I said.
My new love is as mysterious and haunting
as my first one.
The frog you see
is not the frog you saw.
I wish you’d burn your fingers
again and again….


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