As I Was Going Down

Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Abruzzo (Italy), 1951



“As I was going down the infamous stairway,
you were coming through the door, and for a moment
I saw your unfamiliar face and you saw me.
Then I hid so you would not see me again, and you
passed by quickly hiding your face,
and you dove into the infamous house
where you couldn’t have found pleasure, as I didn’t find it.

And yet, the love you wanted, I had it to give you;
the love I wanted–your eyes told it to me
your tired and distrustful eyes–you had it to give me.
Our bodies senses and sought each other;
our blood and our skin understood.

But the two of us hid disturbed.”

Constantine P. Cavafy


*The Latin phrase “Ora pro nobis” (“pray for us”) is a sentence from The Hail Mary