An old song is knocking about next door. She is loud
and laughing and her feet won’t stop moving and the
drink in her hand slips into something like a dress
darkling. I hold my breath between my teeth as if to
light it, catch it in my hands and throw it at the wall –
something like a taste like sleep. Something like a sky
trickles into my mouth. Girls seep (out of the) night,
cling to pomegranate-tree body and wrap their arms
around a neck hesitant and drunk on what they told
us was confusion, and my mind unsound drowns out
desire. Still this racy looking-glass thing speaks to me
in drab curtains and cardboard mania, and my god
does it hurt to turn her off; and my god does it hurt to
shut her out, old song knocking on my door steadfast
drunk slurring her words staggering like stoned. And I
want to hold her still scared to touch her still burning
dull under the sheets. She is grit and bounty relentless
fire exquisite colour dry-bark kissing girls murmuring to
life; and god if it didn’t hurt to let her in, to undress her
(tender); but girl did I need to hear her (make me) cry.
The doors to the lift open and she steps out into a narrow corridor that smells of medicine and disinfectant. She barely notices. She's not really here right now: she's in the depths of a mystical forest, a fearless explorer on an Important Mission to find hidden treasure.
“... fast asleep at the moment,” the woman in the white coat says to her father as they walk down the corridor, “She had a very disturbed night yesterday.”
Her father doesn't say anything, just nods. He is breathing quickly and shallowly.
She follows them both down the corridor. Only, it's not a corridor, it's a narrow swing-bridge over an endless ravine, and it could break at any moment and send her tumbling into the abyss. They are moving faster than she is, which is fine, because she's not really sure who they are yet: they don't fit very naturally into the narrative, so she's happy to leave them out of it for now.
At the end of the corridor her father and the woman in the white coat turn left, through a small white door with a blue sign on the front. There's another door opposite it, coming out of the right-hand wall, and it's wide open. She leaves the forest momentarily to peer through it. [read more]
Let's have an apartment
in Weimar Berlin and never
pay the rent. Let's laugh
at the Storm Troopers.
Let's get the newspapers,
and shrug at reading
of the last elections, with
more at most in three months,
we think. We proceed
to spend our morning
walking through a local park,
before we cram into a cafe
where everything has run out,
before we visit a gallery
of suitably degenerate art
(I have never been to Berlin
and you will need to fill in
names). Let's have a life
which falls apart in a few weeks,
but have it last forever,
that's my favourite time in novels,
and I'd very much like
if you'd let me share it with you.
Know that, should you roll
over and the see the date,
and in a breach of fantasy
tell me what came next,
I will happily soothe you,
saying, Love, fear not, there is
no brave new world, and
the historiography of this
period is so uneventful.
It's enough to let you sleep,
though I struggle to do
the same, instead watching
the slow work of a ray
of sunlight, penetrating
our little decadence,
and those curtains we stole.