–I’ll come later tomorrow. Every evening is just the same: I’m frightened to find your mother in a different disguise at each door in your street. Yesterday, as I passed by, she was sitting at the entrance of the butcher’s, all in black, her arms raised in the air, their shadow sketching some malign bird I couldn’t recognize across the red wing of the door. Two doors down, at the veterinarian’s stoop, she was shamelessly baring her wrinkled breast, threatening me with a lewd glance, then, seeing me bolt, she appeared as I turned the corner, dressed like a grand senyora to shock me, then, two houses farther down, she turned up in a blind doorway, where behind an improvised counter she was offering diabolical masks and vizards at a cheap price. As night falls, your mother appears wearing a different dress, frighteningly made-up, at each of the thirty-three doorways preceding the door to your house. I’ll come later, much later. After midnight, your mother, along with the other neighborhood women, miaows from the roofs to awake a bloodcurdling echo that wails in the depths of the chimneys. At that point, behind the wall of rusty debris lying behind the garden, you and I shall silently contemplate how the moon hides behind the inaccessible black mountain that seals off the town. Taller than the Himalayas, no one has yet explored the other slope. The pale disk will die on our horizon only to be reborn in the next valley, when we shall listen to the clashing lances of a thousand warriors saluting the nocturnal dawn.
Copyright © in the Catalan text by the Heirs of J.V. Foix
Translation Copyright © 2016 by Lawrence Venuti
Photograph © philippe leroyer