Rosy Ear

by Zbigniew Herbert

I thought
but I know her so well
we have been living together so many years

I know
her bird-like head
white arms
and belly

until one time
on a winter evening
she sat down beside me
and in the lamplight
falling from behind us
I saw a rosy ear

a comic petal of skin
a conch with living blood
inside it

I didn’t say anything then—

it would be good to write
a poem about a rosy ear
but not so that people would say
what a subject he chose
he’s trying to be eccentric

so that nobody even would smile
so that they would understand that I proclaim
a mystery

I didn’t say anything then
but that night when we were in bed together
delicately I essayed
the exotic taste
of a rosy ear

(Translation by Alissa Valles)

On discovering new things about your love.

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