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Philippe Delerm

“About sexuality of English mice.

A warm perfume is growing little by little in the room. An orchard scent, a caramelized sugar scent. Mrs. MOUSE roasts apples in the chimney. The apple fruits smell grass of England and the pastry oven. On a thread drawn in the flames, the apples, from the buried autumn, turn a golden color and grind in tempting bubbles.
But I have the feeling that you already worry. Mrs. MOUSE in a Laura Ashley apron, pink and white stripes, with a big purple satin bow on her belt, Mrs. MOUSE is certainly not a free mouse? Certainly she cooks all day long lemon meringue tarts, puddings and cheese pies, in the kitchen of the burrow. She suffocates a bit in the sweet steams, looks with a sigh the patched socks trickling, hanging from the ceiling, between mint leaves and pomegranates. Surely Mrs. MOUSE just knows the inside, and all the evening flavours are just good for Mrs. MOUSE flabbiness.
You are totally wrong - we can forgive you – we don’t know enough that the life in the burrow is totally communal. To pick the blackberries, the purplish red elderberries, the beechnuts and the sloes Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE escape in turn, and glean in the bushes the winter gatherings. After, with frozen paws, intoxicated with cold wind, they come back in the burrow, and it’s a good time when the little door, rond little oak wood door brings a yellow ray in the blue of the evening. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE are from outside and from inside, in the most complete commonality of wealth and climate.
While Mrs. MOUSE prepares the hot wine, Mr. MOUSE takes care of the children. On the top of the bunk bed Thimoty is reading a cartoon, Mr. MOUSE helps Benjamin to put a fleece-lined pyjama, one in a very sweet milky blue for snow dreams.
That’s it … children are in bed ….
Mrs. MOUSE blazes the hot wine near the chimney, it smells lemon, cinnamon, big dry flames, a blue tempest. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE can wait and watch. They drink slowly, and then .... they will make love ….You didn’t know? It’s true, we need to guess it. Don’t expect me to tell you in details the mice love in patchwork duvets, the deep cherry wood bed. It’s just good enough not to speak about it. Because, to be able to speak about it, it would need all the perfumes, all the silent, all the talent and all the colors of the day. We already make love preparing the blackberries wine, the lemon meringue pie, we already make love going outside in the coldness to earn the wish of warmness and come back. We make love downstream of the day, as we take care of our patiences.
It’s a love very warm, very present and yet invisible, mice’s love in the duvets.
Imagine, dream a bit ….. Don’t speak too badly about English mice’s sexuality …..”


Philippe Delerm
tags: prose-poetry
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