The Answer

Each forward movement of the clouds leadens
The cupola covering the great men
A bit more. Then it explodes again
In all its blue-gray sheen as it receives

The sun. A woman in a bright
Colored miniskirt has stretched herself out
On a metal chair. Her hand
Is planted firmly on her neighbor's thigh.

A boy observing them makes fun.
With brusque gestures, of imitation
Conjugal Sundays; as if it were

A play by Marivaux, a female friend
Briskly replies, sometimes people, pretend
To be pretending, when it's true.

—translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker