Chéries cérises, if you puh-lease ! (¡Ayudadme!)

Figures on the lawn, Stuyvesant Town, New York, Sep 2019, by William EatonAh the barriers that not just language erects! (Ah les barrières que n’érige pas seulement nos langues.) As I ride my bike here and there around New York I see people—mostly young woman, but not only—in their various states of undress, or odd costumes, etc., and I mumble to myself as I pass, “Chérie!” But the other day I saw several young woman, or girls perhaps, with midriffs bare, belly buttons showing (vientres descubiertos, ventres à l’air), as is quite popular in New York these days. Since there were several women, the French word would have been “chéries,” but I was frustrated that the “s” would be silent, unvoiced. To wit, this series of short poems. Para vuestra deleite y entretenimiento.William Eaton

Chéries cérises, if you puh-lease !
Tous tes gentils nombrilises
Me faiblessent les deux knees !

Señoritas risueñitas,
Ombligitos tan dulcitos.
He perdido ahoritita
Fuerzas secas, antiguitas.

Chéries cerises, s’il vous plaît !
Vos nombrils, corsages défaits,
De la force, je pas ne sais
Si pour les fuir je l’ai today !

Darling cherries,
Don’t you see-ze . . .
How your bellies . . .
Pray for my knees!

(Drawing also by William Eaton

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