Home > Poetry > The Tobacco Shop Window
Translated from the Greek by Theoharis C. Theoharis
Published: Thu Oct 15 1998
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
The Tobacco Shop Window

Near a bright-lit tobacco shop window
they stood, among many others.
Their glances met, randomly,
and fearing, hesitant, expressed
their flesh’s outlawed desire.
A few anxious, sidewalk steps followed,
until they smiled, and nodded slightly.

And then came the closed coach . . .
the senses drawing in two bodies:
the hands united, and the lips.

See what's inside AGNI 48

Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933) lived in Alexandria and is commonly considered the premier modern Greek poet.

Theoharis Constantine Theoharis is an Associate Professor in the Literature faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Joyce’s Ulysses: An Anatomy of the Soul (U. of North Carolina Press, 1988), and editor of a  critical series forthcoming from Harvard University Press. (updated 1990)
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