Michel Houellebecq: “Afternoon”


Your half-hearted gestures just end in a groan.
You walk a few paces, then head home instead
To wallow in misery and sprawl on your bed.
Your sadness has a body that makes its weight known.

The weather is warm and the sky is perfection.
Life gathers the bodies of youths into a ring
As Nature calls them on to the spectacle of spring.
But you are alone with your hollow reflection.

Your solitary flesh hangs heavy and full.
Your faith in this world has lost all its pull.
Your tired heart causes you to lose your breath

As you try to pump blood into ponderous limbs.
You’ve forgotten how love is made between skins.
Night falls upon you like a sentence of death.

Michel Houellebecq

Translated from French by Paul Weinfield, © 2015
Image by Francis Bacon

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