Sunday, October 11, 2009

The people in Hamburg

I just wanted to add - thinking about Kim's birthday - what did we DO all those days and hours and months together in Hamburg?

And I realized - it was so all about the people. Sabine and Florian, and Anja and Alexander, and Klaus and Bettina. Parties late at night, and hours sitting around a pizza or a big pot of Persian rice, and plans that fell through because Michel had to make yet another one-minute video for Luxemburg TV. And more parties.

Sabine, if you're reading this, here's a poem I've been meaning to show you for years and years and years. (The you in the poem is not you, or Kim for that matter, but that becomes obvious I guess. And Sabine, you're living in a different shape these days! Those were other times.)

Nights, that Year

The streets came together in half-circles, no-car

zones with potted palms, Italian ice cream,

gardens strung with car-lot Christmas lights and people talking

German low in busted armchairs with their bottoms

almost to the sidewalk. We would go arm-in-arm when the time

zones and the Northern angles kept the night balmy late.

I tried stiletto heels, fraying the points.

I tried a sip of red wine. I kept trying to marry you.


I tried dressing you in my clothes, tried

riding barefoot on the train from Berlin. I tried

everything. We kept going back to the place with the busted armchairs.

We ate corn salad at one in the morning.

We slept on the floor and played pingpong in the bedroom.

We watched Sabine sink giddy into her pink pear shape. Our parties

were famous. We still have the pictures. I don't think

you remember it this way.

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