Lyric discussion by the_boatman 

This is another song about/directed to Nick (Cave). These lines give it away:

"Speak to me Of heroin and speed Genocide and suicide Of syphilis and greed Speak to me The language of love The language of violence The language of the heart"

Nick used to enjoy his heroin and speed, his songs are all about love/the heart (he aslo lectures about the love song), and usually contain a decent portion of violence, and "syphilis and greed" is a lyric borrowed directly from his song Mercy:

"A viper's voice would plead Thick with innuendo syphilis and greed

And she cried `Mercy' Have mercy upon me And I told her to get down on her knees"

I'm not sure whether Polly is comparing him to the viper's voice, or whether she is asking for mercy, since she left him, and he didn't exactly take it well (we have her to thank for most of his beautiful album, The Boatman's Call).

Just my two cents.

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