HIS helmet crest, like water hitting the headlands,
Brightens the air, his bow with swollen power
Scatters us all from her long-suffering thighs:
Odysseus smiles behind her smile, he rules
Twin Islands: one lies here in her clear iris,
Another lies out there, halfway home from Troy.
So we are satisfied with serving girls,
Get drunk on wine that’s ten years old, and lie
On wretched bellies, dreaming of her high breasts
That lift through sleep like swells on the foam-gowned sea.
The wenches drain our passion, but not our pride.
Each morning when she greets the homecoming waves
Their dark grasp bends her as we never could,
Arching her naked body in the taut sunlight.
Blood sticks in our hearts like an arrow, quivering.