Sarah Keryna

A calm, tranquil day. Always, the wind.
The snow in Brazil, the fires in Greece,
the storms in Canada.

Summer doesn't exist.

It's April, which is perpetually beginning,
or October, which is on its way.

A plane crashed into a building: 113 deaths.
His voice on the phone seems strange to me.

I found Les Hauts de Hurlevent in the trash can.

And Gérard Denoyan is dead.
And Claude Sautet is dead.

Required attendance at the library.
Intensive lectures.
I never remember the titles.
I can never read everything.

If a book was made for me, but I never open it,
am I destined to encounter it, sidelong, forever?

* * *

The sky surrounds me, a silent suffering
cut by whispers, and the sounds of birds.
Faraway streets. The antennae. The seagulls.

Cactus, agave, giant ferns.
The millennial oak.
The plant grasses.
The scent of eucalyptus, the dusty paths,
and the still light.

He has a recurrent dream that the three of us
die in a car accident.
He takes some pills, lays for three days,
in delirium, hallucinating in his bedroom
without moving.


Bus 83. The blue ribbon of the sea suddenly
spun out, reflecting a great light.
The waters lapped at the foot of the rock.
The sweetness of water. Facing the sun.

There is a little girl—probably Russian.
She is wearing an old-fashioned dress
too hot for the season. Later, she repeatedly
returns to the water. She swims close to the edge.

Upon returning by bus, a woman said:
I have traveled in all the cities of Europe
and in all the cities of the world. I have never
seen a city as dirty as Marseille.


Paris, its marbled floors,
its waxed, wooden stairs,
the lack of grimaces,
the dark, lacquered doors.
The windows.
The numeral code.
The interior path.
The galleries.
The museums.
The banks of the Seine.
The bars.


From the moment I set foot
in this place, I was renewed.
This heat, this drunkenness.
These terraces. These white rocks.
The all-encompassing sea.

The space.

My Marsalita!

The sprawling path on the map
indicates the Ganges Valley.
One point corresponds to 500,000 people.

Forms of transportation:

The flux.
The streams.
Aquifers, pipelines.
The wells.
The deposits.
The mines.

At R's, at the last hour, I purposefully
derange her hair with a comb.


The rain.

The bottles of pink pills.


The borders, the channels, the subsidiaries.

I drink pitchers of blood.
I dream of iron depths
in which I can hide.

And Théodore Monod is dead.


The wheat of Sainte-Barbe is sown.
He said that the iron is oxygenated by salt,
because the city borders the sea.


They are seated next to one another,
on the lawn, in the sun.

They do not touch. He offers her Pétrole by Pasolini.
He tells the story of the child who died despite having been prayed over.
Since then, he's been unable to believe in God.

He did not take her hand, nor did he take her in his arms.
They passed the top of the station. She said: it depresses me
that every track on the rails is headed North.

A brutal, fragmentary storm. The rain kept falling like a bombardment.


A seagull passes in front of the sun, masking it for an instant.
His projected shadow crosses the apartment.

I bought a spray of lily of the valley.

And André Bouchet is dead.
And René Dumont is dead.

The edge of the sea.
The steepest of cliffs.

The sand ruined the view.
No matter where one looks,
there is only sea, sky, sand.
It's nothing more than the sea, the sky, and the sand.

The sublime

                                                              is a point

on the map.

translated from the French by Virginia Konchan