“The summer has gone by both quickly and slowly.
It’s been a kind of eternity, each day spinning
out its endlessness, and yet with every look
back, less time is left . . .”
So quickly, and so slowly .. . In the tiny elevator of the flat you’d borrowed on the Rue de Pondicherry,
you suddenly put your head against my chest, I thought to show how tired you were, and lost consciousness,
sagging heavily against me, forehead oiled with sweat, eyes ghastly agape .. . so quickly, so slowly.
Quickly the ambulance arrives, mewling at the curb, the disinterested orderlies tie you to their stretcher.
Slowly at the clinic, waiting for the doctors, waiting for the ineffectual treatments to begin.
Slowly through that night, then quickly all the next day, your last day, though no one yet suspects it.
Quickly those remaining hours, quickly the inconsequential tasks and doings of any ordinary afternoon.
Quickly, slowly, those final silences and sittings I so regret now not having taken all of with you.