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The Mischievous Girl
In the burnished dining room, that scent,
one of varnish, the other fruit, at ease
I picked at dinner, some unknown Belgian
thing, and in my immense chair I am amazed.
Happy and quiet before the clock while eating.
Then the kitchen door opened with a swoosh;
heat— the servant girl came, I don’t know why,
her scarf askew, wearing a smart hairdo.
Then, while running her trembling finger
on her cheek, a velvet peach, rose and white,
with this she made her lips a childlike pout,
she stacked the plates beside me, for just a sec.
Then, as happens —for a kiss, of course—
she whispered “Look here, I’ve caught a cold upon my cheek.”
by Arthur Rimbaud
tr by Remy Wilkins