Picture of a 23-Year-Old Painted by His Friend of the Same Age, an Amateur The Canon
He finished the picture yesterday noon.
Now he looks at it detail by detail. He’s painted him
wearing an unbuttoned gray jacket,
no vest, tieless, with a rose-colored
shirt, open, allowing a glimpse
of his beautiful chest and neck.
The right side of his forehead is almost covered
by his hair, his lovely hair
(done in the style he’s recently adopted).
He’s managed to capture perfectly the sensual note
he wanted when he did the eyes,
when he did the lips...
That mouth of his, those lips
so ready to satisfy a special kind of erotic pleasure.

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