Vienna

Cities can be like people,
You can fall in love with. It’s true what they say.
But it works in the opposite direction
As well. That’s the second half of the sentence,
The elephant that always sneaks out of the room,
Shy, silently and unnoticed.
But with the time, you get to know it
Closely.
As the bricks of days, built the houses of years,
I was looking forward to leave,
But then they told me to stay,
Inside, at home,
For a while, for now.
So solitude moved in,
And I was still there.
There is where I am now:
Here.
On a mattress in my room focussing
On all the irregularities in the surface
Of the ceiling
And besides solitude,
There’s a new sense of wonder for the world outside,
I’m thinking about the days after all of this,
When we don’t have to hide inside anymore.
And I hope that,
Because invisible walls turned concrete,
Then we’ll see them clearer,
Move nearer
And tear them down, where they are.
A forgotten Vienna is everywhere.
There’s an invisible city,
Underneath Habsburgian vanity
and outside this room.
It will still be there,
When all of this is over.
Made of concrete and marble. People’s
Lives and Stories.
I miss the places I was visiting so little,
When I was still able to.
Before the numbers on the clock got blurry.
And without necessity
To go to certain places,
At certain times,
There’s only a vague difference to tell dusk from dawn.
This room became a birdcage,
And all of me wants to leave as
Soon as possible,
To rediscover this city I thought I’ve
Grown tired of.
To say my farewell wishes properly,
With gratitude for a place where I made friends,
And memories,
That became my home unnoticed.

Kerim Mallée

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