Craftsman of Wine Bowls
On this wine bowl of pure silver— destined for the home of Heracleides, where discerning taste and elegance reside— I've engraved flowers, streams and thyme, and in their midst a handsome youth, naked and erotic, dangling his leg in the water still. I prayed, memory, that I'd find in you an ally strong enough to render the face of this youth, whom I loved, just as it once was. It will not be easy, as it has been some fifteen years from the day he fell, a soldier, in the battle of Magnesia.
From C. P. Cavafy: Selected Poems translated by Avi Sharon. Published by Penguin Classics. Copyright © 2008 by Avi Sharon. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.