The Stranger 

Eh ! qu’aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger ?
— J’aime les nuages… les nuages qui passent…
là-bas… là-bas… les merveilleux nuages [1]

The river, a timeless poem.

twilight at two o’clock
in the afternoon.

On the bridge of lovers
in the city of spleen

a woman in a grey raincoat
a statue of salt.

‘Who is walking with you on
the other side of the mirror?’, I ask.

‘Where I come from, there are no mirrors,
we walk with our shadows’, she answers.

In the green of her eyes –
prisms of light.

Time, an endless river.

[1] Well then, you puzzling stranger, what do you love?
– I love clouds… clouds that go by … out there … over there … marvellous clouds! (Le Spleen de Paris, Ch. Baudelaire; translation by Keith Waldrop)

(Published in The French Literary Review,  issue 30, 2018)