It’s five in the morning and we can’t feel our bodies anymore
they may be in pain or they may just be so fainted from
everything we placed in our systems
we drink more tequila because at this time of the morning, it’s all we can have to stay safe
the club is filled with smoke
and I can’t see him clearly, only when there are automated flashes of light
he grasps my hand so he doesn’t lose me
I doubt I could easily lose him, he’s so tall
he’s the British version of Mackelmore, and he’s so distinctly hipster looking
that he somehow fits perfectly with the club we are in
he asks if I want to leave, and I say yes
he has a rooftop apartment in downtown Berlin he wants to show me.
He knows, he knows it’s only the apartment he can show me
and he respects that, he says. He says the other man is very lucky.
It’s vaguely dark outside and our eyes adjust to the slight difference in lightning
we can barely choke out words and our bodies look like they have been run through a drying machine
hundreds of times
the entire way, his hand is still with mine
to enter into his rooftop apartment, we have to use everything left in our body strength to push
open a large, metal door and walk up
thirteen flights of stairs.
He says everything in the building was renovated except for a convenient elevator
and by the time we make it to his loft,
I’m so exhausted that I’m not even astonished by the wall to wall glass panels that overlook Berlin
But he is.
And he takes my arm to guide me towards the windows
Look outside, he says. The whole city is magnificent
and he is right. It absolutely is.
We talk for a few hours, he makes a few passes
knowing very well that he shouldn’t have to begin with
he asks why I am there with him
if I’m not alone.
And I say, because I feel alone.
He leans his head on the glass, pointing to the Brandenburg Gate
There is deep history within that gate, he says,
but throughout all of the tragedies, eventually, it was given in peace.
I jokingly thank him for the history lesson
but he is serious, and says,
Maybe it is time for you, too, to leave a sign of peace
instead of continuing to reconstruct what is out of your control.
I think about what he says, and he is right.
He has been right the entire evening, and I have only known him
for a few hours.
I tell him I need to leave, that I’m not staying far away.
He asks if he should walk me back, or if he will even see me again
but I tell him I’m not available.
He still asks for my number
I let him know his friend has it and it wouldn’t be a good idea
and I fluster down the thirteen flights of stairs, into the daylight
and when I return to my own bed,
I close my eyes and make peace with myself
before I consider how I will ever bring peace back at home.