Clôture Annuelle

X in August: I should not have forgotten,
I ought to have guessed that it would be so awful,
Empty, monotonous as a month of Sundays,
Yet haunted somehow like a monument,
To it would be easy to say I don’t know what,
Except I do: to all the other Augusts
Equally hot or equally overcast,
Last year and the year before the last,
When I waited, which I wasted waiting,
Wondering what else to do with time but waste it,
For the long chaste summer to be done with, the beginning
Of intimate autumn and the promiscuous winter.
I am of those who never go away,
All the more rare, then, to find myself a stranger
In streets I thought I knew by heart, but where
The shuttered shops alone return my stare.
Life leers from every terrace and embrasure,
Tricky, inaccessible, and dear.
In mid off-season time is a temptation.
Invaders occupy the cafe tables
Where in the spring we spoke to one another.
How wise you were, my dear, to go elsewhere.
Today it is clear. Search me. Our sources give
The sibyl’s sentimental answer, “Live.”