Il n’y a pas un chat dans la rue, an aubade
The streets are empty, wind stirs
light against the building where I leave you.
Soon enough cars will shoosh the pavement
and work will begin in every office and shop.
My damp hair will dry in the sun, my wet cheeks too.
No shadows to give up our secrets, whisper our names.
Won’t you promise this is not the end, come to me
again when the light falls behind the city?
If I tell you I cannot go on without you,
will you mock me and say not our arrangement?
Will you sigh and dress more slowly,
send me a ring that was your mother’s —
one meant for your daughter (you have only sons).
The street begins its crawl from darkness
to the light where you fly home to another
and leave me with my cat, our secret, this perfume.
The French phrase means "the street is empty" but literally, there is not a cat in the street"