On the Stairs Hidden
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As I was going down those ill-famed stairs
you were coming in the door, and for a second
I saw your unfamiliar face and you saw mine.
Then I hid so you wouldnt see me again, and you
hurried past me, hiding your face,
and slipped inside the ill-famed house
where you couldnt have found sensual pleasure any more
            than I did.
 
And yet the love you were looking for, I had to give you;
the love I was looking forso you tired,
knowing eyes impliedyou had to give me.
Our bodies sensed and sought each other;
our blood and skin understood.
 
But, flustered, we both hid ourselves.

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