The night is dry & we confuse
the bartender by ordering rotwein instead
of rose. I’m using royal. I’m halfway through

the glass when a 34-year-old man doesn’t
ask to strip my skintight pink
dress to light the years in him.

For the record, now, I’m 19,
and just starting to learn fear in the form of purple
hair washed to white. Fear in learning red for lean

meat, in Sauvignon Blanc & spitting green
Jaegermeister on a Berlin street. I’ve become
a grave for kebab stands, the blurred faces of Turkish men
passed over for what will kill me slower.
But in seventy years the world won’t exist.

Berlin & the men & all the shitty blue beds
where I’ve rocked through dreams of machine guns & all
my loves dried to ashes

in a plain black jar I would have hated.
Make me into a diamond. Wear the last memory
I have of that night, drunk and climbing

a rope jungle with Sarah, the spray-painted zombie
ally flickering with light, the apartment building
with its roomful of blue stars,
the two Chinese paper lanterns,
the smell of smoke & the gently singing woman
who knows me like death,
which is to say not at all.

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