Reading Cavafy

The Adventures of Constantine Cavafy. Photo by Duane Michals


To Peter Orlovsky


When we parted in Tangier

We said ten years or perhaps a few months.

Whatever fate and railroads bring, whatever cities or deserts –

Now I’m in the holy land, alone

reading Cavafy – it’s half past twelve

My letters haven’t reached you, yet you’re somewhere here, Petra or Syria

Perhaps have entered the Gate to this land and are looking for me in Jerusalem –

I wrote to all your addresses and to your mother –

Tonight I am reading books and remembering our old nights together naked –

I hope fate brings us together, a letter answered, held in the red hand –

or crossing some modern streetcorner, look joyfully in each others’ eyes.

Allen Ginsberg

From The Journals, Early Fifties, Early Sixties (November 1961)


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