I am a travel agency for the dead,
I book them flights to the dreams of the living.
Famous celebrities apply to me, like Heraclitus,
to be able to visit a writer who’s in love with him,
but so do the lesser-known dead – like a farmer from Wasiły village,
wishing to advise his wife on matters of rabbit breeding.
Sometimes several generations of a family charter an airplane
and land on the brow of their final descendant.
I also have dealings with the murdered,
who on regular trips to the dreams of the survivors,
collect up points in a frequent flyer program.
I never deny my services to anyone.
I find them the very best connections
and I reproach myself when a young lover,
to get into his girlfriend’s dream,
must make a transfer in the dream of a snoring crone.
Or when weather conditions force an emergency landing
and the dead man calls me: do something,
I’m stuck in the dream of a terrified child!
Incidents like these mean stress and a challenge
for me, a minor business with major ambitions –
for though I have no access either to the dead men’s world
or into other peoples’ dreams,
thanks to me they come in contact.
© translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (courtesy of Wisława Szymborska Foundation)