POETRY

One Evening

By

Translated from Guillaume Apollinaire

I saw an eagle dive across the angel-wing-draped sky
Protect me from this omen
Can it be long before these lanterns flicker out and die
Pray for me, blue-eyed woman

Paris is a steel-ribbed city; also, it's the star
That drowned in your eyes’ pools
On the night the Metro’s pallid lights lit from afar
For us to see three baleful gulls

And everything I dreamed was trembling in your young eyes
I drank till I was faint
Beneath the streetlights that glowed red like toxic fungi
O long-armed vestment-wearing saint

Look there: a movie star rebuffs his groupies with a scowl;
A suicidal ghost has pulled the trigger;
Iscariot hangs from the tree and drool drips down his jowls;
I too have had enough. Let’s make a wager

Cathedral bells sang clearly on the day of our first meeting
Don’t you see
The streets are strewn with flowers and the faithful throng is waiting
For your return to me.

Jenna Le is a poet and translator. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI Online, Barrow Street, Massachusetts Review, New York Quarterly, Post Road, Rhino, Salamander, and other literary journals. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the PEN Emerging Writers Award. Her first book, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011), was an SPD Poetry Bestseller.

I saw an eagle dive across the angel-wing-draped sky
Protect me from this omen
Can it be long before these lanterns flicker out and die
Pray for me, blue-eyed woman