Berliner Elegy   

(In remembrance of LVT)


Fleeing the suffocating chalk of words
- some brought disgrace on me -
words dispersed while flying around
over the content green of parks,
I snatch a plane
and fall into the trap of your region.


Yes, I went through the cloud forest
while you stumbled across the landscape;
your blood dropping on the stones
of the neighbouring nowhere road.
I can now offer nothing but a faint cry
synthesized with bubbling music.


Here was an atrocity:
the perpetrator was on the run
dragging his half-paralyzed body.
Then, he put on the tin crown
and beheaded himself;
and the body danced like a slain chicken.
I had pleaded to you: Carve up my monster!


All this instead of appealing and praying:
“Oh, thanks for your beauty,
subtle face and humble soul.”
Instead of sucking your tongue, time and again.
(All my useless sweat and tricks)
There is no wisdom to distribute,
only amazement at your discrete investment:
you, hugging me.
An investment in the future
eradicating my existence.

Oh, this, our continent of hollow names:
Coppistraße, Friedrichsfelde,
Volkradstraße of the pink building,
our seismic-proof room in the clouds,
the Dübener Heide, Varna, Plovdiv, Vitosha, Sofia, Leipzig.

Oh, this our city, denying me access,
has erased our bodyprints from its beds.
I fall from its balconies and hit the ground,
an exploded balloon.

Oh, these places with their laments ripped off,
effectively silenced except for your scream,
never ending, resounding everywhere,
and me…deprived of your tongue.

Anwar Al-Ghassani
Berlin, Saturday, July 10, 2004