Guy de Maupassant
“What, then, did Flaubert understand by beauty, in the art he perused with so much fervour, with so much self-command? Let us hear a sympathetic commentator.”
— Walter Pater
I become Boswell around him.
I see him Sundays
when bark closes his face.
He is an unhappy planet disregard the
garrulity of his letters he is something
from Ovid becoming woman or lion
on whim becoming delusion
or child as the bark slams over his stomach
and we sit here complaining of the Paris snow.
I remove my eyes
from him. And he touches
my wrist from across the table.
Smiling, waving a fork.
“Tell me something,” he says.