State of Siege

State of Siege

The
poor omnibus driver under the tin canopy,

warming a huge chilblain inside his glove,

follows his heavy omnibus along the left bank,

and from his inflated groin thrusts away the moneybag.

And while [in the] soft shadow

where there are policemen,

the respectable interior of the bus looks at the moon

in the deep sky rocking

among its green cotton wool,

in spite of the Edict

and the still delicate hour,

and the fact that the bus is

returning to the Odeon,

the lewd wanton utters piercing cries

at the darkened square!

Francois Coppee

*A.R.