they know me at this cafe

"They know me at this cafe. When I come in from the vineyards they put a drink in front of me. As a sign of respect I take off my sunglasses whenever I speak to the proprietress. Here I can reflect on the Romans, their triumph, and the tiny thorn in their side that we represent. The owners are exiles too, scattered people, as are their customers, who all seem to wear dark suits and flash gold teeth behind their cigarette-holders. Our children go to the Roman schools. We drink coffee, and some kind of powerful fruit brandy, and we hope that the grandchildren will return to us. Our hope is in the distant seed. Occasionally the card players in the corner lift little glasses in a toast, and I lift mine, joining them in their incomprehensible affirmation. The cards fly between their fingers and the mica table-top, old cards, so familiar they hardly have to turn them over to see who has won the hand. Take heart, you who were born in the captivity of a fixed predicament; and tremble, you kings of certainty: your iron has become like glass, and the word has been uttered that will shatter it."

- Leonard Cohen ("Book of Mercy", #18)

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