Translation – Crépuscule sur verre

Twilight on Glass

She tempted me with wine, cake, and grapes. I found her in the hemisphere of fronds and glass that made her sun room, her crystal world above the ravine.

Disquieting, gamine looks – a suspiciously solicitous manner! Between crumbs and cream and many sips I gave in, asking what she wanted.

The birds around the greenhouse took to the air in a tumult.

I said, “The world, it lives on, and here you are surrounded by sunbursts, rain, leaves, until the end of days.”

Contrary, her eyes sparkled. But she admitted, “It’s true – I have every season, and at the same time, that which pleases me. Maybe flowers, as jewelry among the snow.

“And yet, where are the delusions of our lush centuries gone by? Give me the man who errs, who chases all the mania of myth. That which the few children today would never believe.

“Yes, I want credulity, surrounded by its fairies and beasts. Give me phenomena still unexplained. Give me the universe without map, and thus without end.

“I want a magician – no, I want to be the magician myself! Humor my caprices, Theo, and give me that piece, Theo, for fear of being cursed!”

Since she had scarfed the last of the pastries, my only recourse was wine while she laughed at the silence of glass and sky, of grass and earth, of the twilight of man.

At last, “That’s all?” I demanded. And she inclined her head.

I left half full, despite all the desires that had been elaborated. At that moment my only thought was:

“It would have been easier in springtime.”


Elizabeth Cook, 2016

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