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One for the road – High Country News

Translation by Connie Voisine

This poem is also available to read in the original French version.

It’s May,
doorway to the charming summer.
Summer, they say, is for lovers,
also the double halves, or multiples
But me, I don’t think about such a summer.
I refuse to believe in hibiscus love
on lawns in parks, of butterflies,
of grasshoppers and bare buttocks.

My date is with the sun. It missed me
my other half, completely round and warmer
than a blanket of pillow, even more
then brown thighs exposed
which should not be looked at under most circumstances.
I am satisfied with the clouds of the very blue sky,
sated with wine at the table of the sun, syrupy, round.
I was told that the sun never misses
a day in this month, all drunken whimsy.
I’m waiting for it at my window that faces Pentzer Park.

Because I need to protect myself, I prescribe caution:
the sun in Lincoln is a chameleon. Yesterday. For example,
it was snowing. Light flakes fluttered down and landed
like little butterflies that are immediately picked up by the earth.
My neighbor might get out today, for the third time since August.
Yesterday this sixty year old who can barely walk and never misses
a beer, his house was dressed in a white cassock. In May.

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