In Berlin (in five sentences…)

Viktoria ParkI drove carefully along your highways, approaching your centre as one approaches a very beautiful woman, a little tensed, perhaps apprehensive at the thought of your contemptuous stare…

How quiet were your tree-lined streets, how beautiful Viktoria park in the late Summer light, and how radiant your smile when you open your door, my adored lover, my soul, my mistress.

It was so quiet, everywhere, as if the leaves of the trees were silencing the far-away murmur of traffic; but this is not London nor Paris: this is the city of a hard-won peace. Oh Berlin, city of our love, where so long ago, you said we would meet again, here, on the banks of the Spree, unter den Linden.

Memorial to the Berlin Airlift, 1948, TempelhofFor I adore your city, as I adore you, knowing that history never totally disappears, knowing the Topography of the Terror, the martyred bodies on the Wall, the long way back to life after the fall… Eastside Gallery, die Alte National Gallery… Dem Deutschen Volke…

In Tempelhof we ran, my eyes never leaving the golden hair and your sun-tanned legs, the goddess’s steps. And in the evening we walked the calm streets of Kreuzberg, and then you taught me that Aphrodite herself lives here.

The Young Dancer, Alte Nationalgallery

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