11. Shoot the Messenger

An illiberal translation of Catullus XI

Catullus 11

J____ and D_____, comrades of your dear Catullus,
Every ready to support me,
Whether I start fights with Indians
Or pick quarrels with polite Iranians, 
Or jealous Turks,
Fight the sagacious Pakistanis 
Or romantic Syrians,
Whether I refuse to pay the Egyptian for the
Seven-headed hookah pipe,
Or I argue with the Swiss,
Insult the Germans, the Dutch, 
Or my threatened fellow Englishmen,
You, ready to support me in all of these confrontations,
Which the machinations of the world throw at me,
Do me this one last favour and tell my ex to fuck off.
Let her have her thousand orgasms 
With one thousand different men,
A whole room of soft boys, 
Loving none, none loving her,
Constantly, time after time,
Taking them between her legs 
In an attempt to scratch that itch.
And tell her to forget about my love;
She will never find it again.
For it has died, just like a rose you buy from a street seller,
Leave in your bag and find it wilted, parched, leafless. 

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