And tonight’s Catullus is…

TO JUVENTIUS – Catullus 99

I jumped on you and kissed you – honey kiss –
while you were concentrating on your game.
I made you angry – we’ve not been the same
since – you were harsh to me. Your anger is

like being crucified. You wiped your lips
as if they had been spat on by some whore,
as if you didn’t want me any more
not any scrap or drop. Chased me with whips

as if you were a Fury. Your mouth’s taste
on mine changed from the softest sweetness to
the bitterness of aloes, myrhh or rue.
I think we’re done, and that is such a waste.

For if my kissing you caused so much pain
I won’t hurt you by kissing you again.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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5 Responses to And tonight’s Catullus is…

  1. paratti says:

    Good stuff.

    Poor guy.

  2. coth says:

    I’m really enjoying these. To think what I missed out on for never having done Latin…

  3. anef says:

    I really like this one.

  4. swisstone says:

    As ever, a fine version.

    Very minor spelling correction – the addressee of this poem is Juventius, rather than Juventus. A vocative ending in -i indicates a nominative in -ius rather than -us, which has a vocative in -e. And I didn’t know that until I looked it up.

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