when the lights are off

Two paradises ‘twere in one,
To live in Paradise alone.

Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden

i am trying to remember the sky
over berlin as i leaf through my old
pocket edition of berlitz’s guide
and wonder if i could still walk
from tiergarten to potsdamer platz
in just twenty-five minutes?

i had long forgotten that summer
at jepsen’s when i tripped over
the old jens’s bike, and all the hopes
embedded in my fear-lined fascination
with the elegant kurrent of handwritten
notes found on the vacat pages.

and only now, when out of the blue,
someone asked sprechen sie deutsch?,
did i realise that when the lights are off,
my mind is still stuck in the place
where i left you alone the last time
you failed my unfair expectations.

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