The Photograph

In this obscene photograph sold in the street
secretly (have to watch out for the police),
in this whorish photograph,
how could there be such a dream-like face?
How did you get in here?

Who knows what a degrading, vulgar life you lead;
how horrible the surroundings must have been
when you posed to have this picture taken;
what a cheap soul you must have.
But in spite of all this, and even more, you remain for me
the dream-like face, the figure
shaped for and dedicated to the Hellenic kind of pleasure-
that's how you remain for me
and how my poetry speaks about you.

Constantine P. Cavafy

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