We’ve got sweat-slicked brows, tuffs of loose, knotted hair
Our limbs dumbly droop and we stand on the roof

Of a three story flat up in Prenzlauerberg
Near five a.m. when the night’s at its end

When we shuffle our shoes and sometimes tip the booze
From the bottles that we’ve all left scattered around

Then the beer trickles down and it spreads on the ground
And turns the rooftop tar a shimmering black

I feel through my shirt the thick summer heat
The hairs on my arm, the trees in the street

Are bathing alike in a warm morning dew
And the cigarette smoke we let slip from our throats

Catches the first red rays as the sun shows its face
Through the chemical haze out in east Lichtenberg

We face the source of the light as it floods through Berlin
Not the city we know in this tangerine glow

In this rich warming shine that is washing our eyes
Black industrial pipes start to wiggle and writhe

And their steam hits the scaffolds, whose
Metal fingers grow limber as they stretch through the street

To shake the red trees from their lumbering sleep
Then the leaves that they drop start to flee and get caught

In the stares of facades in the communist bloc
With the refusal of death on their hot, heaving breath

The parks are all built out of paper and gold
With fountains that spew streams of molten stone

Our apartment stands firm in the boiling sea
Of the scars of old days which swell, throbbing like waves

It’s the city lain out, moving, alive, and just like that
A light, filmy rain sprays a sheet on the town

We try to claw it away, but the curtain stays down
Then we stir, soaked in the sun and the rain

It’s the start of the day
And we can go home to sleep and dream of sunlit Berlin




  1. granbee says:

    “We try to claw it away, but the curtain stays down
    Then we stir, soaked in the sun and the rain” Heather, I think this is how I have moved out of
    myself and into many, many cities of “others”.


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