Drinking in Berlin

If I see this brick one more time I’m going to be sick, I say, this gold stone set in the sidewalk outside this building where I enter genocide with official permissions.

 

We sit for coffee even though I drink tea we sit for tea even though I drink whiskey and I’ll be forced to eat your food because you people say so: it’s what’s done.

 

I call it dirt in my mouth - you people call me ungrateful. You mean we thought we killed you all already you say hey can’t we have a laugh because you say it’s a joke you say it’s ancient history it’s what’s done. Okay, I say, then I’ll just call you people murderers
in other words.

 

We use other words for what we mean, and we weaponize the alphabet in both our languages. I’ve come here just to make you try to get rid of me again. I’ve come to make these people cry. I’ve come here to stand in your way. I am carrying this brick in my hand and we can’t see it until I’ve smashed you with it. Whose guts are on the pavement now whose brains are whose and I’ll stand here with whatever I choose to beat us with and we’ll cry together and hold each other when we’re drunk we’ll say we’re sorry but we’ll mean I’d do it again I swear to god I’d do it again.

 

It’s midnight and there have been far too many niceties and while I see now that our eyes are gouged out and our mouths have swollen shut and our ears are torn and bleeding we’re wearing flowered dresses and high heels and we have our lipstick straight and everything is fine as long as we stay that way the day is wide open now and above us the blue chasm doesn’t mind if it does, doesn’t mind if we do, nothing we say now can change the fact that when the taxi drives past I’ll throw you under it. Berlin is a wonderful place to get drunk if you like white people.

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An agile writer across forms, her non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and hybrid texts are often integrated with her photographs and films. Her critically acclaimed debut collection of short stories and photographs The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far (Coffee House Press, June 2015) includes 150 color plates of her companion photographs. Her works appear regularly in magazines and journals including Tin House, Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, WITNESS, New American Writing, Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Folio, Sidebrow, and many more.