Excerpt In Translation


by Véronique Grenier

Éditions de Ta Mère, 2016

The kitchen vibrates. You bustle about it. I’m only allowed to sit down, sip my drink, chitchat with you. You wide smile. Busy tossing, seasoning, bringing a spoon to my lips so that I can taste its contents your wrist on the way past too. The table is dressed up pretty. It’s the middle of the week. There will even be dessert. That feeling of wanting to blow up coloured balloons.




She falls asleep with you, at night. Sees your morning waffle. Smells your fresh-out-of-the-shower scent and knows how water beads on your skin just before you wrap yourself up in a towel. All those evenings and all those mornings and all those weekends. Your life without me.




Your voice fades out over the course of days of crises of the night that persistently fails to reach the end of the line. I can barely distinguish intonations in it now. I try to find you on the line. You’re listening to me, I don’t know what you’re doing with the Lego of my words. I’d so love to hear you scream, yell, blow your lungs out. But you lay low on the floor and chew rocks instead.




In cars, parks, parking lots, under restaurant tables, in the bookstores’ lonely rows, the corners where the eyes don’t go. I so rarely cum in my bed. And always under the sun. I would enjoy some shade.




Your fingers are peeling away the peel and squishing the fruit open and the air is fragrant and I receive them one by one on my tongue, eyes half closed, it’s orange season and I’m only eating some ’cause you’re feeding me, seems like it’s nothing at all something trivial yet it’s everything ’cause it reminds me of the sweetness of things beneath your fingers brushing my lips hello life your mouth grasps mine

win and ding ding and our hearts beating

it’s orange season

I tell you “don’t blink, you’re gonna lose bits of me”

you open them wider

my smile spills up over your face.



I swallow a tablet. I appreciate the certainty of the sleep to come, of these dead hours where my head doesn’t think of you. I don’t dream with this drug. I get away. And nothing makes me feel better than those moments where I am no more. Where you are no more. Where I cannot even tell myself that maybe, that now, that it’s happening, that it’s coming, that necessarily, that hope and resignation and shooting stars and four-leaf clover in a scrapbook and rabbit’s foot and lucky charm and ladders to avoid.


PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Marie-Claude Plourde