Always For The First Time | André Breton, 1934




Always for the first time
I scarcely know you when I see you
You return sometime in the night
To a house at an angle to my window
A wholly imaginary house
From one second to the next
There in the complete darkness
I wait for the strange rift to recur
The unique rift
In the facade and in my heart
The nearer I come to you
In reality
The louder the key sings in the door of the unknown room
Where you appear alone before me
First you merge with the brightness
The fleeting angle of a curtain
A jasmine field I gazed on at dawn on a road near Grasse
The jasmine-pickers bending over on a slant
Behind them the dark profile of plants stripped bare
Before them the dazzling light
The curtain invisibly raised
In a frenzy all the flowers swarm back
You facing the long hour never dim enough until sleep
You as if you could be
The same except I may never meet you
You pretend not to know I'm watching you
Marvellously I'm no longer sure you know it
Your idleness fills my eyes with tears
Meanings surround each of your gestures
Like a honeydew hunt
There are rocking-chairs on a bridge there are branches
That might scratch you in the forest
In a window on the rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
Two lovely crossed legs are caught in long stockings
Flaring out in the centre of a great white clover
There is a silk ladder unrolled across the ivy
There is
That leaning over the precipice
Of the hopeless fusion of your presence and absence
I have found the secret
Of loving you
Always for the first time



André Breton, Always For The First Time 
/ Toujours pour la première fois
de L’air de l’eau (1934)
tr.  Mary Ann Caws


* Man Ray, André Breton, 1932




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