“Plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes,
You were my playmate by the sea.
We swam together.
Your girl’s body had no breasts.
We found prawns among the rocks;
We liked to feel the sun and to do nothing;
In the evening we played games with the others.
It made me glad to be by you.
Sometimes I kissed you,
And you were always glad to kiss me;
But I was afraid—I was only fourteen.
And I had quite forgotten you,
You and your name.
To-day I pass through the streets.
She who touches my arm and talks with me
Is—who knows?—Helen of Sparta,
And there are you
A whore in Oxford Street.
Companion Art: “Madeleine, Monologue et 9 dessins“, by Adolphe Willette