There was a limit to our love:
No small distance – five hundred miles –
Our mother tongue, humourlessness.
Jetting in on German Wings,
You met me in black linen trousers,
Noir vest, kohl-rimmed eyes.
We stayed in someone else’s flat:
A demilitarised Eurozone. I didn’t mind,
Though I never did understand the who,
Why, or what we were hiding from.
You took me out walking. We said very little,
But that was fine. Finding somewhere to dine,
Gothic Cologne was drab and bland.
Your desperation to please pained me.
Young couples reeled about in the street,
Drunk as spinning tops. Next morning,
We took our cycles down to the Rhine,
Freewheeled on the riverbank. That evening,
On the cusp of dusk, a small dog bit me
Above the ankle. You didn’t look back.
We took in an English language film,
Daytripped to Amsterdam, skirted round
The coffee shops and flesh palaces.
Fell into a bar. Fell into a fight.
Another man flirted with you. Back in Cologne,
We lay together one last time, listening
To Leslie Feist, and the slowly emptying night.