It’s good to sit with people (Leonard Cohen)

It’s good to sit with people
       who are up so late
your other homes wash away
and other meals you left
       unfinished on the plate
It’s just coffee
       and a piano player’s cigarette
and Tim Hardin’s song
and the song in your head
       that always makes you wait
I’m thinking of you
               little Frédérique
with your white white skin
and your stories of wealth
               in Normandy
I don’t think I ever told you
that I wanted to save the world
watching television
               while we made love
ordering Greek wine and olives for you
while my friend scattered
dollar bills over the head
of the belly-dancer
under the clarinettes of Eighth Avenue
listening to your plans
for an exclusive pet shop in Paris
       Your mother telephoned me
she said I was too old for you
and I agreed
but you came to my room
one morning after a long time
because you said you loved me
       From time to time I meet men
who said they gave you money
and some girls have said
that you weren’t really a model
Don’t they know what it means
to be lonely
lonely for boiled eggs in silver cups
lonely for a large dog
who obeys your voice
lonely for rain in Normandy
seen through leaded windows
lonely for a fast car
lonely for restaurant asparagus
lonely for a simple prince
and an explorer
I’m sure they know
but we are all creatures of envy
we need our stone fingernails
on another’s beauty
we demand the hidden love
of everyone we meet
the hidden love not the daily love
       Your breasts are beautiful
warm porcelain taste
of worship and greed
       Your eyes come to me
under the perfect spikes
of imperishable eyelashes
       Your mouth living
on French words
and the soft ashes of your make-up
Only with you
       I did not imitate myself
only with you
       I asked for nothing
your long long fingers
deciphering your hair
       your lace blouse
borrowed from a photographer
the bathroom lights
flashing on your new red fingernails
your tall legs at attention
         as I watch you from my bed
while you brush dew
               from the mirror
to work behind the enemy lines
               of your masterpiece
Come to me if you grow old
come to me if you need coffee

(bron: Poems 1956-1968/Jonathan Cape Ltd)

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