Half an Hour Hidden
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I never had you, nor I suppose
will I ever have you. A few words, an approach,
as in the bar the other daynothing more.
Its sad, I admit. But we who serve Art,
sometimes with the minds intensity,
can createbut of course only for a short time
pleasure that seems almost physical.
Thats how in the bar the other day
mercifully helped by alcohol
I had half an hour that was totally erotic.
And I think you understood this
and stayed slightly longer on purpose.
That was very necessary. Because
with all the imagination, with all the magic alcohol,
I needed to see your lips as well,
needed your body near me.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem