Nein Zum neuen Polizeigesetz
A man I love took me to a protest—eine Protestaktion
It was almost like a carnival—how people gathered
We held hands through the streets of Düsseldorf
And dipped our fingers in the Rhine.
People who held posters, though we had none—
Strode through the corridors with painted grimaces and snarling teeth.
Old men, sitting by the red brick cafes,
Would leer at the Fräulein dressed for the hot sun.
Forests lined the wings of the streets
And bakeries stood, their customers watching us storm by
We clamored through the winding black cobblestones of the Altstadt
And I could see the Johannes Cathedral gazing down on me
My German is subpar, at best
I know my professors would expect more from me
I do not remember what the signs had said,
Or what the protesters yelled.
All I remember was the face of the man whom I was with
A man raised in the Ruhrpott
As his eyes blazed over the phrase, over and over again,
,,Nein zum neuen Polizeigesetz”
“No to the new Laws of the Police
Cascading—they fall upon the window-
pane—And how I perceive that dreary sight!
My gaze turned from that awful crescendo,
And focused only on him on this night.
And oh how they fall—like silent showers!
Those snowflakes that whisk from the sky so blue.
Risking frostbite, we leap from my tower
By the Moon’s hoary light, we rendezvous.
We’re fearless—we fall like the drops of snow;
Freedom—a mistress I call his and mine.
We run and fly! upon the ground below!
Escaping into the frozen skyline.
Horizons: I think of from my tower.
Where we sit and we sigh—just he and I.
And as we sit, I dream by the hour.
From that cloud I wish on, ever so high.
Against the window, I turn from the sky’s
Flurries, and—watching all the snowflakes fall—
Him sitting alongside me, and likewise
Dreaming to jump from my tower so tall.
I don’t have a good memory—never did.
But sometimes, thoughts break in and drip through the cracks
Staining my eyes and drenching my ears
Like when I rode a roller coaster with you
And I was so afraid that I held my chest to keep from shaking
And wiped the sweat from my palms over my jeans with the black paint stains.
Or when we sat on a beach with the sunset beside us
And I was so angry that you kept taking photos of us because
I always remembered how I looked with my shirt off (the pictures weren’t so bad)
Or the first time we kissed, and how hilarious it was
Since you spent the night in my bed and only kissed me when we woke up
And you laughed and pushed me away after—I have really bad morning breath.
Or how I like to clean listening to old Madonna songs
Since I remember sliding around on the tile floor in the kitchen
When my mom used to mop. She loved Madonna songs. I do too.
And when I fell down the stairs at a train station
Because I was so, so drunk and could smell the gin under my fingernails
I’m glad that I laughed about it.
And though I reminisce with punctures in time and shreds in my past,
Thoughts burst through the pipes when I think of you.
I’ll pray to keep the gaps in my lousy mind when it is time
For you to say goodbye and for me to be left with just a memory.