(originally dedicated to Michel Leiris)
Revue Européenne, August 1923
Les Pénitents en maillots roses, 1925
When a white arm slips off its glove
You recall an absent love
When like a breeze in a field of wheat
A skirt rustling near your feet
Brushes against your dancing shoe
Something lightly troubles you.
When someone sings to the harpsichord
Every note and every chord
Speak of her, only of her.
Autumn and the dying leaves that stir
The train car carrying you away
Recall a kiss you shared one day
In Algiers on holiday!
Look at yourself in the mirror well!
All that’s left of what was dawn
Is evening and the vesper bell.
What has Time, to love unknown,
Done to Eleonore
While leaving you sick and sore?
Fine love, oh Mediterranean Sea
I’ve kept from all your gentleness
And from your sweet old-fashioned dress
Nothing but a mocking memory.
Pompom of broccoli green, rose-red,
Venus was born in your bed
Under an apple-green baldaquin!
In Ocean, she’d have been a man.