September, 1903

At least let me now deceive myself with illusions
so as not to feel my empty life.

And yet I came so close so many times.
And yet how paralyzed I was, how cowardly;
why did I keep my lips sealed
while my empty life wept inside me,
my desires wore robes of mourning?

To have been so close so many times
to those sensual eyes, those lips,
to that body I dreamed of, loved-
so close so many times.

Constantine P. Cavafy

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