Alexandra leaving

Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The diety of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.

It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving,
A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for this to happen,
Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
Your first commitments tangible again.

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked –
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, hope uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost."

This song resonated so strongly for me the first time I heard it, Sasha being the short form of Alexander. Anthony became the protector of Ceasar, Sasha protected our marriage. We had felt her leaving and loss, we had long prepared but still were full of questions and regrets, we felt tricked by fate, we drank in her presence, we still learn how to say goodbye.

Leonard Cohen, Ten News Songs 2001 (based on The God Abandons Antony, a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy)

No comments:

Post a Comment