Marie Borel
from "Close Quote"
translated by Keith Waldrop





French text

A simple man, he loves the lake, money also
somewhat, but strictly within the normal.
(Professional dreams a lucid kind of muteness.)
In a pure strife, one gains exactly what the other
loses. Steady state. Zero-sum. I think I've already
told you: I'm one of those moved by words. I've no
experience, no duties, not the slightest ambition.
All day I mutter idiocies under my breath. Not the
least danger ever arrives and tonight we improvise.
So our hands slip apart, our bodies skim each
other, precautions taken. How we love. Then rain
falls into our wine, I dream that you're smiling.
Evening descends over Saigon.

       "Yes, but is she going to kiss him?"