Leonard Cohen

Had We Nothing to Prove

Had we nothing to prove but love
we might have leaned all night at that window,
merely beside each other,
watching Peel Street, wrought-iron gates
and weather vanes, black lace of trees
between cautious Victorian silhouettes;
       but there were obligations, the formalities
of passion; so we sealed the shutters
and were expedient in the brevity of night;
reading with empty sockets moonlight in dull hair,
softness to chafed thighs;
       both of us anxious and shaking the night,
with all my arm, she with fingers and gentle;
no hope for silver leaves in the morning.
       And always a glance for the brightening 
a suspension of breath for the hearing of birds
and incantations to the sun
which stirs in dust behind stone horizons.