I met you cast away in a giant city
where people pass by and disappear
inside its oceanic yowl.
It was miraculous how new words
burst from my desert mouth.
I put them in a bottle without promises,
absurd, lolling on the asphalt.
I realized there was nothing to presume,
for this was no longer my first youth
and tact had become an unbearable luxury.
Paris, November 1962
translated by Christopher Bakken and Roula Konsolaki