With Sam


Ludovic Janvier

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 104 in 2001.
Translated by Raymond Federman

We will compare our wounds.

Having compared our wounds
and laughed quite a bit
we left the Isles not drunk of wine
but rather emptied by words
now we are along the Cemetery now
from the corner of Edgar-Quinet to Raspail
since that is our century tonight
and we must pass through this shadow
between the dark foliage and the walls
for a touch of fresh on the eyes at last
with out a word staring at our feet
I deciphering and he stumbles
with his two long legs busy
one gropping the other dragging
the bust following reluctantly
So, Ludovic ( accent on the u
barely uttered as one questions )
So, Ludovic, he says brusquely
there at the corner of the stone shop
facing rue Emile-Richard with it's ugly enfilade

Sam stops leans embraces me leaves me
all in one gesture with a few measured words
that we will see each other
and why let all the time pass
so long goodnight he walks away
far away alone to understand alone to breathe
or rather to hear himself a bit better
one more evening one more evening still
to listen inside to the unspeakable
make breathing noises and images
he left me for this music
after which my words stretch out
but me I do not dare watch him any more
dragging and pulling one leg after the other
Sam the slim marching into the night
me my nose always over my flat feet
I push myself sighing toward my bed
me my way is Campagne-Premiere
and so goodnight Sam get home well
as time goes by to each his rumor