By Thomas Page

The Untranslatable

This is a series of poems of words that do not directly translate into English. I have tried to capture the essence of the word in a poem.

I was working near the mainstage

With a clicker in my hand

And a mappack at my waist

As the summer sun bled through the trees

And I watched the trademarked thing waltzing around

Of a distant pit orchestra behind the trademarked thing.

I, a beast of business, stood near another

Selling the idea of transportation as she walked around my cage.

“You want lipbalm?” she asked extending a branded stick.

“Sure,” I said, making sure my ward was still vertical.

At the moment, I heard a familiar name as I saw a familiar face.

We had gone to high school together some time ago

Before we wore different uniform shirts

And parted with board and gown and diploma

At the place with the mosaic ceilings.

I remember taking theology with her.

She sat behind me and sometimes ran her hands through my hair as if I were her dog

She also told me one time that I looked a mess.

We exchanged pleasantries as a respite from work

As she introduced me to her coworkers.

She handed me a fistful of lipbalms and corporate memorabilia

As she darted back to survey the park.


Language: French

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