The city moves toward the fog,
our horizon in the suburbs,
leaden, steaming, beneath clouds
lengthened by the setting sun, torn
by slightly violet colors,
verdant violet reddened.
The twilight expands.
The friendly avenue
shows us a more human planet,
hurls treasures at our eyes,
immerses us in summits.
And the noises converge, subside:
Dreadful little motor vibrates.
...And one again the vague chorus resumes,
favored by the low tone
open to the skies.
Beneath the last reds
in grays, greens, thin mauves,
I feel the lights the city
projects toward me are mine.
Much imagination envelops everything,
and that enormous machine lifts us high,
inseparable now from our days
and our destinies.
The grand avenue —where I am— glitters.
Everything advances shining,
instant after instant.
I let myself go with it,
rejoice, get lost. Lose myself?
Tenderness suddenly, surprisingly,
Into one shadow of the heart
a tenderness fuses
the city, my stroll.
Common wisdom suddenly surfacing,
I will die some moment without fuss,
subject to the most correct order,
while everything keeps to its orbit,
Not knowing they are fleeting,
escort me, rush me,
urge me along,
and not meaning to I will leave
—some harsh some sweet—
until that cut that ends it all.
Curtain! An outcome not implied
perhaps by the earlier adventure:
work, longing, unresolved conflict.
But now the mind
in its own reflections
recognizes the saddest
I will go far away. I am resigned. I don't know...
And the final passage
—over a drone of wheels—already pains me.
The day is present in the night
pulsing with traffic.
The sky, more remote, vanishes.
This cafe terrace, more intimate,
suffuses the outdoors with its harmony.
I traverse a way of living
so mortal that it clings
to my body, this breath where
my spirit and the world intertwine.
Cruel criminal world,
war, amorphous and false, nonsense...
Impure and all intermingled,
living holds me: I am creature.
my human condition,
make myself at home
thanks to superhuman favors.
The world is more than man.
Thus I travel roads and streets
wandering between two nothings,
The avenue carries me along
with this multitude in which cluster
shouts, sirens, announcements, people,
swerves of light, swishes of words:
stream of anxiety
I attain my earthly being,
passage between two clouds,
alert to lightning.
Translated by Cola Franzen