I loved you, Atthis, years ago,
when my youth was still all flowers
and sighs, and you — you seemed to me
such a small ungainly girl.
Can you forget what happened before?
If so, then I’ll remind you how, while lying
beside me, you wove a garland of crocuses
which I then braided into strands of your hair.
And once, when you’d plaited a double necklace
from a hundred blooms, I tied it around
the swanning, sun-licked ring of your neck.
And on more than one occasion (there were two
of them, to be exact), while I looked on, too
silent with adoration to say your name,
you glazed your breasts and arms with oil.
No holy place existed without us then,
no woodland, no dance, no sound.
Beyond all hope, I prayed those timeless
days we spent might be made twice as long.
I prayed one word: I want.
Someone, I tell you, will remember us,
even in another time.