I fiddle blindly with my bootlaces
near your doorstep,
glimpse a pair of size 37 Birkenstocks.
You’re planning to let me leave before twelve,
and I know it.
There are Nazis on the news again
but I can’t speak German,
so I don’t know how frightened I should be.
Coincidentally, the film we choose
seems to make a lot of Holocaust references.
We both quarter-snigger at the Nuremberg joke,
but are too distracted
by where your hand
might or might
not be to
Over your svelte, picturesque
dinner that I could not eat,
you taught me how to say
ö ö ö ö ö
and now you are teaching me how to say
o o o o o
but I can’t return the lesson
and you let me leave
just before twelve.
On the train to Alexanderplatz,
on my way home (not home),
I feel like I’ve left without my coat
even though I’m sweating from the inside out
as if I was a densely packed nightclub,
as if someone was trying to embarrass me.
STEPH GORMAN lives in South East London and is currently completing an MA in Creative and Life Writing. She studies at Goldsmiths, where she also finished her undergraduate degree in 2016.