WHEN I UNCOVERED YOUR BODY
When I uncovered your body
I thought shadows fell deceptively,
urging memories of perfect rhyme.
I thought I could bestow beauty
like a benediction and that your half-dark flesh
would answer to the prayer.
I thought I understood your face
because I had seen it painted twice
or a hundred times, or kissed it
when it was carved in stone. With only a breath, a vague turning,
you uncovered shadows
more deftly than I had flesh,
and the real and violent proportions of your body
made obsolete old treaties of excellence,
measures and poems,
and clamoured with a single challenge of personal beauty,
which cannot be interpreted or praised:
it must be met.
– The poem “When I Uncovered Your Body” from Fifteen Poems by Leonard Cohen published in ”VALENTINE’S DAY POEM: Canadian Poet, Songwriter, Artist Leonard Cohen: ‘When I Uncovered Your Body’,” Huntington News, February 14, 2012. (via leonardcohenminute)