Poetry Tuesday: A Courtesan to her Lover

By Ksetrayya, originally written in the Telugu language (India) in the seventeenth century.
(From what I could make out doing research, “Muvva Gopala” is a name for the god Krishna, so make of that what you will.)

Who was that woman sleeping
in the space between you and me?
Muvva Gopala, you sly one:
I heard her bangles jingle.

As I would kiss you now and then,
I took her lips into mine,
the lips of that woman fragrant as camphor.
You must have kissed her long.

But when I tasted them,
they were insipid
as the chewed-out fiber
of sugarcane.

Who was that woman?

Thinking it was you, I reached out for a hug.
Those big breasts collided with mine.
That seemed a little strange,
but I didn’t make a fuss
lest I hurt you, lord,
and I turned aside.

Who was that woman?

You made love to me first,
and then was it her turn?
Does she come here every day?
Muvva Gopala,
you who fathered the god of desire,
you can’t be trusted.
I know your tricks now
and the truth of your heart.

Who was that woman?

;o)

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