Issue 223, Winter 2017
In the hospital waiting room, seated in my plastic chair,
I think about Leonard Cohen and start quietly to cry.
I’m glad no one is watching, because I can see
the childish indulgence of it all—the displacement of my personal self-pity
onto the cadaverous Canadian singer
whom one critic called “the world’s leading producer
of songs advocating suicide.”
Yet it comes from somewhere deep, this sobbing
sympathy for Leonard Cohen,
and I don’t care if it’s dishonest, there is nourishment
in these wet tears. I sense
I’m irrigating my own dirty life
with something clean and fresh from far away, like rain.