artwork: ralph murre
by Thomas J. Erickson
When daybreak surprised us that morning
in your hotel room, the
sky was Berlin
the color of a healing bruise.
In my pocket were the chips of mortar I had
scratched out of the remnants of the Gestapo
headquarters. The mortar was turning
to sand by the hour--free at last
to disintegrate for all time.
I asked you to think of all the people
who had looked into that sky awaiting
the knock of the Gestapo or the Stasi,
the concussions of the Allied bombs,
or the signal to escape from East to West.
We were too drunk and happy, though,
to confront the city and its past--safely
distanced, as we were, from divorce
or the second thoughts of the newly married.
It was easy to look at the sky and write
our histories on the window pane
before passing into our Lethean sleep.
~ first published Mad Poets Review