One night

C. P. Cavafy

The room was poor and miserable,
hidden above the crooked taverna.
The window had a view to the alley,
grimy and cramped. From below
drifted the sounds of some labourers
playing cards and carousing.

And there on the coarse and humble bed
I had love’s body, I had the intoxicating lips
voluptuous and rosy –
the rosy lips so potent, that even now
that I write, after so many years!,
in my empty home, I am drunk again.

[Published 1915]

Original Greek Poem