Rene Char


        All day long, side by side with the man, the iron forced
its torso against the flaming mud of the forge. In the end,
their twinned muscles unearthed the thin night of metal,
bursting free.
        The man leaves his work in no rush. He plunges his arms
one last time into the stream’s darkened flank. Will he
know, at last, how to grasp the algae’s icy hum?

— translated from the French by Nancy Naomi Carlson