APOCALYPTICAL TATTOOING BY PAUL CLAVÉ

Avalanche by Leonard Cohen

I stepped into an avalanche-it covered up my soul-when I am not this hunchback that you see-I sleep beneath the golden hill-You who wish to conquer pain-you must learn, learn to serve me well. You strike my side by accident-as you go down for your gold-The cripple here that you clothe and feed-is neither starved nor cold-he does not ask for your company-not at the centre, the centre of the world. When I am on a pedestal-you did not raise me there-Your laws do not compel me-to kneel grotesque and bare-I myself am the pedestal-for this ugly hump at which you stare. You who wish to conquer pain-you must learn what makes me kind-the crumbs of love that you offer me-they’re the crumbs I’ve left behind-Your pain is no credential here-it’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound. I have begun to long for you-I who have no greed-I have begun to ask for you-I who have no need-You say you’ve gone away from me-but I can feel you when you breathe. Do not dress in those rags for me-I know you are not poor-don’t love me quite so fiercely now-when you know that you are not sure-it is your turn, beloved-it is your flesh that I wear…

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