• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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In Memory of Tante H

Berlin in your dreams
is always black and white
Marlene in a trouser suit
cheekbones and eyebrows
harsh angles and arches
Mundane angels walking the streets
of a metropolis
where the sky above
is always overcast

Tante H’s life was always in colour
throughout the best of times
throughout the worst of times
At ninety years old
she’s three times your age
survived two world wars
had cancer twice
buried one husband
raised one child

Tante H climbs the steps to her first-floor apartment
shops for her groceries just down the road
Her life’s in slow motion now
but still in colour
morning coffee, evening news
She stays up with you to talk of the past
of the best of times
the worst of times
remembering things for you you never knew


In Memory of Tante H

Berlin is always too hot in the summer
You sweat as you take a bus
West to East
East to West
arches to harsh angles
and back again
Berlin has always been united
Berlin will always be divided
You throw the core of the apple you bought in Friedrichshain
in the compost in Steglitz
dreaming your black-and-white dreams
that the next time you see Tante H
she’ll be a hundred
and you but a shadow of the past