At five minutes to nine in the morning all women pass with the air of a young mother or an older sister.
At eleven thirty the women bring to the streets a murmur of perfume and lipstick, murmur of wrinkled salesgirls and clandestine kisses.
At four in the afternoon the women carry themselves with the chaste air of teenagers going to study at the house of a friend.
At five thirty, above all in days of winter sun, the women have the shining eyes of workday meals, and someone surprises them with long desserts with secret friends.
At eleven at night, especially in the spring and the last weeks of autumn, the women burst with profound faces of good love, love that is true and forever.
At four in the morning all women are old friends, old university classmates, patient accomplices for the dawn.
There are many clocks that mark in the city the lonely rhythm of our thoughts. The clock of women, of men, of marriages; the clock of cars, of trees, of balconies; the clock of noises, of silences. The crowd too has its codes.
Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams