When I Went Out

A poem by Leonard Cohen

Illustration of what appears to be a backside
Illustration by Leonard Cohen
Illustration by Leonard Cohen

When I went out to tell her
The love that can’t be told
She hid in themes of marble
And deep reliefs of gold

When I caught her in the flesh
And floated on her hips
Her bosom was a fishing net
To harvest infant lips

A soft dismissal in her gaze
And I was more than free
But took a while to undertake
My full transparency

Ages since I went to look
Or she would think to hide
Torn the cover torn the book
The stories all untied

But someone made of thread and mist
Attends her every grace
Sees more beauty than I did
When I was in his place

 
 

This poem was originally published in the July/August 2005 issue.

Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen was an ordained Zen Buddhist monk and a celebrated wordsmith.

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