Leonard Cohen and Me, Not by the Levee

In a cruciform town
built of stone and sweat
they laid us both down
for the crime of theft

we swam ourselves naked
shook a fist at the moon
where the oily anointed
are past dead too soon

      that’s what you get baby
      for wanting to be free
      that’s what you get baby
      for wanting to be free

I kissed tattooed children
their faceless smiles also
way beyond the power of ten
there on your blessed torso

they came in the night
too afraid of the day
a list of what was right
their fears to allay

      and that’s what we got baby
      for wanting to be free
      and that’s what we got baby
     for wanting to be free

our bodies are our irony
a scorn of deliberate charade
away from that cold cold valley
the fulcrum of us was made

we stole the lonely chastity
giving everything we had
they told us it was blasphemy
go tell them we were glad

      and that’s what we got baby
      for wanting to be free
     and that’s what we got baby
     between you and me

First published in Anti-Heroin Chic Leonard Cohen Memorial Edition
Unstill Mosaics The Book of Love, Loss, and Longing 2019

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