11

Shared at dawn

Translated by Keith Cohen

We search in vain for quiescence. My cat and I.

The house is full of remnants, it emprisons us in its memory of sorrows—they are on the entryway carpet, on the floors, in the corners of the living room, in the kitchen right up to the sink; they stop there, then they start off again toward the balcony, and there, stuck for eternity, between the eleventh and twelfth banister: minuscule, powerful claws caught in the little squares of lattice-work. In vain we return there. Everything is there still, the strong smell like an unforgettable name, phantom vision; it’s as if I saw you, I see it again, we see it. The whole house is now a mausoleum. Thea has found resignation but not quiescence. Resignation is an exhaustion of the heart. By dint of rubbing her heart against the banisters, she finally reaches the exhaustion of hope. Then, in the pitiable comfort of fatigue, she collapses on her bed of paper, possessed by the sorrowful specter, her body flattened, her paws opened wide and unfurled like wings.

It all started at dawn. It was gray and bitter at six o’clock. I saw it as I was leaning against the morning window: a large black dead leaf caught in the lattice-work of the balcony, upright, its round head inert, its beak sunken in, its body obliterated—on second look I felt the force of this black inertia to be heavier, bulkier than that of a leaf, and then I saw: caught there by the network’s fine invisible pincers was a sort of bird stuck upright in the spaces. Oh no, I wished I hadn’t seen it. And now what should I do? Now I was trapped in the vision of that immobile thing in my lattice-work. Horrified. A dark, maddening dialogue started between me looking at the thing and its threatening strangeness. For it had thrown me instantaneously into a state of irresolution. What unimaginable accident might have precipitated this presence which, as it

Original title: ‘Aube partagée.’

-175-

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