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Incompetent Translation: El Desdichado


by Bill Yarrow


I am twilight's pissoir, the orphan's
inclination. My star is dead; my constellation
crushed. The Prince of Aquitaine has fallen
and cannot rise. I am the shadow of waxwing slain. 

In the tomb, in the outré tombe, I see
the Sea of Capri, the Hearse of Merci,
La Lune de Pantoum, La Place du Caprice.
Désolé! Désolé! Où le vinaigre et le vin sont un.

I am naked and red, cheri. Give me back
my color and my clothes. Give me back my
singularity, my tristesse, my photo ID.

She sits in a gondola and burnishes her arms.
She puts the piquant radish in her mouth.
She takes a loofa and wipes the rainbow from her neck.

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