Veranius, it’s true I have three-hundred thousand
friends, and twice as many followers, but trust me:
I always read your letters first. And now you’re coming
home! How was Andorra? Be sure to bring something
nice for your mom, and slightly less nice for your sisters,
since they seem to have forgotten you. But for me?
Catullus? Your A-1 pal? Just bring me your lips packed
with gossip, the parades and pratfalls you plunder so well,
and your beautiful eyes filled with rivers and thighs
and mountains and tunics pulled tight by the wind,
and your chest perfumed with fine foreign air,
and your feet still warm and soft from the shore….
When I kiss you, Veranius, I want to taste the world.
Kent Leatham is a poet and translator. His work has appeared in dozens of journals, including Ploughshares, Fence, Poetry Quarterly, InTranslation, and Softblow, as well as in the 2013 Montreal Poetry Prize Global Anthology. Kent holds an MFA from Emerson College, and teaches at California State University Monterey Bay.