It's four in the morning, the end of December. I'm writing you now just to see if you're better. New York is cold but I like where I'm living. There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening. I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert. You're living for nothing now. I hope you're keeping some kind of record. Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair. She said that you gave it to her the night that you planned to go clear. Did you ever go clear?
The last time we saw you you looked so much older. Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder. You'd been to the station to meet every train but then you came home without Lili Marlene. And you treated my woman to a flake of your life. And when she came back she was nobody's wife. I see you there with the rose in your teeth, one more thin gypsy thief. Well, I see Jane's awake. She sends her regards.
And what can I tell you my brother my killer? What can I possibly say? I guess that I miss you. I guess I forgive you. I'm glad that you stood in my way. If you ever come by here for Jane or for me, I want you to know that your enemy is sleeping. I want you to know that his woman is free. Yes, and thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes. I thought it was there for good, so I never tried.
And Jane came by with a lock of your hair. She said that you gave it to her that night that you planned to go clear.
Sincerely, L. Cohen.
Copyright © Leonard Cohen
and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada Company
Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.