Breaking In Berlin

Clubbing in Berlin, a notorious night out. 

Black is Berlin’s heaviest color, draping over the scraped sky and open on bright thighs. This contrast the color code for an open door. 

Police of fashion, attitude, and attraction guard the thumping black behind them. A quick blink and you’ve been checked out, faster than gum at the grocery store. 

This is the scene I agreed to at 8:01 am when I rolled over in bed to read the incoming Whatsapp message:

“Got the rental car, we will leave around 12/1 to get you”

At 8:03 am, I replied, “Amazing!!” and promptly dozed through the next two hours of the morning. 

By 10, I had peeled lazily from the bed, opened an avocado, and toasted a slice of bread. Salt, pepper, and chili dusted into the mix as I crushed and spread.

While I enjoyed my autopilot breakfast, my mind stuck to the nature of our Berlin trip. 

Would it be a quick sight-seeing jaunt? A night-club night out? A brief meet-up with a traveling friend? I hoped for a night out, leaving the logistics for later. I was up for anything. 

Crocheting through the rest of the morning, I waited for the “one hour” text to ding before getting ready. 

I showered my sleep-tussled hair with the shampoo and conditioner set I earned with 20 minutes and google translate at the grocery store. After smoothing the soft shampoo into my scalp and working the conditioner into the tangles behind my neck, it was time to shave. 

Bristled legs met a razor head and chopstick combination, my creative solution to leaving the real handle sitting idly in my parent’s shower. 

Nevertheless, I emerged refreshed and rose, embracing the chill that severs the cling of steam on the other side of the shower. 

Dressed in pink straps and short denim, I slid my “may the force be with you” socks under white sneakers. I paired my signature face sunscreen with the noir of pink bottled mascara for the special occasion. As I shimmied the last layer over my lashes, I was interrupted by the call of “CAROLINE!” through the open window. I lined my lips with a smile.

“Berlin! Berlin!” they chanted into the kitchen five minutes later, and I caught on quickly that this was going to be a night out. 

I was excited, though woefully unprepared with my lightly packed side bag of basics. Grabbing my backpack, I shoved a change of clothes, face wipes, and overnight necessities into its depths.

I snatched a green-patterned dress for the clubs, with no excuse for this colored faux pas. I had just finished a book about girls in Berlin; the chapters full of repeated rejections and an insistence on black everything. 

My colorful mind brushed past this, shrugging that it was Wednesday and I look good in green. 

With hastily-packed bag in tow, we pulled out of the cobble-stone streets of Munich and took to the uninhibited sway of the autobahn. Redirecting my hair from waterfall to wavy, I tried my best to execute car makeup as we made our way from city to city.

We swore we would break the six-hour sentence issued by google maps authority, and we did, despite a 45-minute backtrack.

Half an hour after one stop to relieve ourselves on the side of the road, we realized we were missing a phone. Tracing our steps back to the quiet field, we scoured the earth and inspected the car’s nooks and crannies, turning up nothing. 

In observance of the fallen, we changed the music from Fergalicious Fergie to ASAP and his F*ckin Problems. 

Soon enough, our wheels rolled into the city. Graffiti and concrete greeted us through car windows, and I felt my heart swell. It was a wink of Chicago, just a twinkle of home, and I wondered into the reason. 

It was a symptom of WWII, the bombing of Berlin. This is Germany, after all. After decades of repentant strife, these modern materials rise from the rubble of elder stone, replacing the ancient Germanic buildings that once stood as tall as their rivals.

This tragedy eclipsed the loss of a gadget and released a bit of our mood as we found auto rest in the parking garage of the Bikini Berlin

A last-minute friends and family reservation gifted us a home base, and we gladly traced the blue-lit halls to the comfort of four stationary walls.  

We dropped our bodies and bags on the bed, only breaking the seal of sleepy eyes with complimentary mini fridge beverages and the discovery of a hotel-provided speaker. 

I drew orange over closed lids and sleeked my body into tight green skin. Reaching down, I married the sharp teeth of my white platform docs in two quick zips. 

Another hour found us looking out at the night-lit city from the hotel’s balcony. Aptly named Monkey Bar, the roof-top terrace kept Bikini Berlin’s tropical theme.

Our smiles sipped espresso martinis, sub tequila, as we commenced our search for prospective clubs. Thankfully, Wednesdays mark the start of the clubbing weekend, and it is never hard to find a good time in Berlin. 

We settled first on a club called Matrix. A venue with good reviews and a shared wall with a 24-hour Doner place. I convinced my companions to join me in taking down some fries. 

The starch of the potatoes was sweetened by the joint-condiment heart drawn by my pommes frites dealer.

The warm air brushed my bare legs as the line shortened and we joined the influx of front-line hopefuls. We watched as the bouncer took his pick of the crowd.

A man in sandals was denied, but his girlfriend was able to argue their way in. My shoulders relaxed with this new faculty of persuasion. 

The same bouncer let us in after staging fake scrutiny of our IDs. Taking to the bar, we sandwiched shots of tequila with salt and lime, the €7 total price offsetting the €10 entrance fee. The salty burn turned sour with lime and brought us to the dance floor.  

After fifteen minutes of bouncing between cigarette boys to a sub-par beat, we decided we could do better, leaving the dark club for a river-side walk to our next destination. 

With a recommendation from a friend and a brief google-search we chose Tresor

As we inched closer to our next intention, we brisked by another thunderous black door. Deciding to try our luck, we stepped into the short line of KitKat Club

We watched the group in front of us knock twice on the door, just to be denied despite their all-black and bare skin. 

“Nein” was the quick answer from the emotionless bouncer.

We resisted, but his negotiation was “lose the dress, take the pants off,” and our prudish American blood accepted defeat. We later realized that KitKat is a sex club and that this Wednesday was their “no pants” night, hence our hasty rejection.

No sweat, as we were still outside, so covered and colorful, we resumed our route to Tresor. 

The gray concrete stood tall against the 2 am stars. The line snaked around metal gates and met us at the street. There we stood, the cool air hovering just above our tequila-warmed skin. 

It wasn’t long before we approached the front of the line; or maybe it was, but I didn’t notice. 

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the bouncer was a woman and immediately followed my exhale with the realization that my womanly guiles would be rendered useless. 

Her stern eyes accepted a group of Aussie boys, all black and sunglasses. Then denied the man in front of us, his yellow shirt deemed unworthy of the techno graces that lie behind the doors.

We struck our pose, my green-vined torso flanked by my black-clad posse, arms crossed and eyes burning through dark lenses. We looked confident, self-possessed, and answered her scrutiny with conviction. 

“Have you been here before?”

“No.”

“If anyone is bothering you, find one of us. Enjoy.”

That was easy. 

Our admittance-high led us to the club’s first dance room, a concrete hall bursting with beats and bodies. Weaving our way through the crowd, we found the DJ. 

A middle-aged man with plastic-red lips, only outdone by his high-hung balloon breasts. As the beat dropped, he lifted his lips to take a shot with his own.

We let loose. Letting our limbs levitate and knees bend with the bass. 

But we were thirsty for drinks and further adventure. So with linked arms, we followed glowing signs to the basement. A round of Vodka Red Bull’s gave us the energy to rejoin the dance floor.

This set was darker. Foggy air clouded the DJ’s stage, rendering them a swirl of smoke behind the beat. The only colors breaking the darkness blinking lasers, and me- it was perfect. 

I lost myself in the music, in the swarm of humanity, all pounding with the same rhythm of the night. The flashing lights took me away as I dissipated with the whirling smoke of the fog machine. 

I closed my eyes, and let the euphoria of the moment vibrate its way through my body, grounded only by the brush of friendly arms on either side. 

An infinity I will never forget, though the details I’ll hardly remember. What is burned in my brain is this feeling, the pulsing lights and foggy exhale doing my seeing and breathing for me.

The remixed music felt familiar and foreign, a medley of pop culture and German techno, all mastered by the bad-ass blonde we glimpsed through breaks in smoke. Her fingers twirled over dark disks, and we let her lead the way. 

We drank the electro-pulses that kept time, felt the build she pushed with metallic sliders, and drowned ourselves in the beat’s fever break.

Sweating and stomping on Aussie toes, our boots and bodies found respite in a dimly-lit corner bar. 

Dismal and dark, it had everything we needed. Wooden slab bench and two round tables, black paint holding impending splinters at bay. Across from our noir nook was a lightly populated bar, the bartender winked at me from his liquor-lined stage, and I used the cheat code. 

Ordering a bottle of sparkling water and three Jameson Gingers, I layed the groundwork. Between long looks, I asked him when the club closed, “noon” was his answer. I expressed my sympathy and slinked back to my friends in the corner. 

Voices labored, and backs pressed hard against the concrete wall, we caught up with our breath and eachother. 

The bartender wasted no time joining us, bringing a flight of tequila and a smile. We cheers’d and made second-language small talk before ditching him for the top floor. 

Climbing up the heavy stairs two flights, we walked into a wide room. Music played for a relaxed crowd, spaced out, partnered up, and slow at this hour. 

My eyes traced the scene to the left and found an open alcove of spring bed benches and metal medley curbs. At the center was the square outline of a bar, quiet and minimal. The three bartenders worked in near silence amid the swell of low voices.

We stalked the perimeter and joined the sway to sound. My hands found the purchase of another’s and I let him twirl me in time to a coupled tempo. My view over his shoulder filled with the faces of my friends. I gave them a quick thumbs up before they faded away. 

Leaving him to the leading, I felt nothing but the music build and break against my skin.

It could have been five minutes or five hours, but eventually, I broke the spell, asking for the time. 7:30, he told me, and turning, my gaze met that of my friends. We nodded.

I sent him on his way, blown kiss to the darkness, and linked arms with my trio as we made our way to the main floor.

Gifting our goodbyes to the temporary friends re-encountered on our exit from the club, 8:30 faced us with its bright eyes and the joint ringing of birds and bass in our ears. The sky hit us with the vibrance of a matinee movie, thankful for the sunglasses’ utility. 

Arms tied and tired, we stepped our way back to the Bikini Berlin, joining the bustle of well-rested commuters as we walked over the still-beating hearts of dark clubs just below. 

€1 Sundays pt. 3: Bayerisches National Museum

Of my triad of €1 museums, the Bayerisches National Museum holds the greatest amount of intrigue and history by far. At 167 years old, not only does this composite collection’s own history supersede that of its current colleagues, but stands as one of the sole representations of Bavarian history from its own perspective. 

Its story begins in 1825 with the death of King Maximillian I Joseph of Bavaria and his kingdom’s transfer into the hands of his grandson, King Maximillian II. 

Driven by his promise to fulfill his grandfather’s wishes of establishing a collection of the Wittelsbach dynasty’s artifacts and preserving the royal family’s history, Maximilian II began exploring the developing world of national museums.

In 1851 he attended London’s World Fair, where he was instantly inspired by the emerging trend of nations showcasing timelines of their technological and historical achievements to the public through collections housed in museum galleries. Taking this notion to his own dominion, Maximilian II committed to collecting an extensive record of Bavaria’s royal achievements and history. 

Of course, as an 1800s Bavarian King, Maximilian II left the cultivation of his ambitious project to the charge of the Royal Bavarian Director of Archives, Karl Maria Von Aretin. Realizing his vision, Von Aretin succeeded in identifying and preserving the cultural record of Bavaria. 

With an initial focus on art and artifacts of the Middle Ages, Von Aretin set out to represent all of Bavaria’s recorded eras up to 1800. This required the king to pull pieces from his Residenz Palace in Munich as well as from other Wittelsbach palaces around the country. 

Opening in the year 1855, the Bayerisches National Museum found its first home at the Maxiburg in Munich’s Kreuzviertel. For 45 years, the collection lived at this late 16th-century residence for Bavarian Dukes.

Just a few decades after its 1900 transfer to its current occupation of a wing in Munich’s Pinzregentenstrasse, the museum underwent reacquisition under the aspirations of Hitler. 

With a plan to transform Munich under his authority, many pieces were taken from Maximillian II’s collection to serve Hitler’s personal preference and to bolster the emerging museum branches such as the Bavarian Army Museum and the Achaologische Staatssammlung. 

As WWII raged on, the museum was forced to evacuate its walls, preserving its pieces while great halls of the building were bombed and dissolved into rubble. At the end of the war, the museum’s directors began restoration. 

Save for an assembly of shattered porcelain crockery, the museum’s great pieces were salvaged; and, with the completion of restoration in 1955, welcomed a new wave of patrons. 

The current gallery spans from Late antiquity to Art Nouveau, leading you through a layout of Bavarian history that covers all aspects of their cultural life. Wooden furniture and halls, silver cutlery and porcelain plates, ivory figures and tusked candleholders, woodwinds and strings and pianos, backgammon and chess sets, weaponry and armor, sculptures and tombs take you through an extensive experience of Bavaria.

With an eerie beauty, the pieces housed by the Bayaerisches National Museum exude a haunting presence; heavy with the history they have seen, the dark wood, pressed metal, and bright ivory emits somber energy that goosebumps your skin as your eyes graze their collection.

Domesticity

To wake every day to a cross over your head, 

the weight of what you can and cannot do 

resting heavy on your bed. 

To hear the creak of wooden voices,

crying with linseed mouths,

a pale orifice drawn across Wittelsbach blue and white. 

Dresser doors swing stories open with their hinges,

obscuring frozen faces with their open arms. 

To break sleep, grateful for this wooden metropolis,

no dirt floors or thatched roofs, 

your feet cross timber grain 

and your blonde hair never sees the sun inside.

You sit prettily, back pressed straight with corset ribs,

elbows resting on that round, splinterless corner.

Eyes locked in contest with the circled portraits,

faces guarding kitchen tables.

The green man sings as he cooks,

pipe kind and warm 

he hangs this tight wooden room with the thick smoke

of breakfast. 

This Emerald before Oz,

he gifts you comfort 

before commercial. 

Porcelain and Ivory Affair

Even dainty fingers,

white as European wet dreams,

take hue from Chinese porcelain-

imitate from African ivory.

These precious, delicate, white fancies taken

and rocked to sleep by foreign ships,

sung lullabies by sirens, and

polished by salty lips.

These fabrics trekked through more culture

than the white-washed figures 

they twist to impersonate. 

Here, they are painted 

with the thin-thistled brushes

of cleaner hands,

unsoiled by the virtue of the world’s dust.

They are looked upon 

by powdered eyes, and 

judged down the noses of those cultured 

by the blood in their veins.

Here, they say:

foreign pieces- how profound!

How remarkably mendable,

how ready and white they glisten-

primed for European salvation.

Duels

Even in stone, our fair eyes are downcast,
subservient to the stare of our chisel-toothed masters.
We are unworthy of our husband’s and son’s silver.

As our children weigh their small bodies down for battle,
the only silver we touch is to our lips.
The only iron linked in the gifted chains around our necks,
hanging like the noose of a dead man.

But we are not dead,
the men and their manly fruit do the dying for us.
Count us lucky in their final moments.
Who are we to complain?

We are the lucky to lie lifeless in wooden cage houses,
where our bodies are used to spawn more militia for death.
The lucky to make no tough choices
just take the brunt of their consequences;
privileged to bear more sons,
to break our bodies into breeding and bleeding life.

We, the lucky to dwell in locked stone towers,
running our hands through the same locks again and again
until the hair catches on our rounded fingernails,
until it is caught in our throats
like a cat hurting herself with grooming.

Nothing to do but look at our reflection in mercury mirrors.
Admire our luck.

Call dark circles our smokey eye,
bruises our blush, and
bless these lips into a smile.

Garments (18th Century)

No iron cast, but we are cast in silk.

Our armor these iron hips that force distance.

A welcome defense, a delay between you

and unguarding our garters. 

Beautiful, in linen and lace, we step

allure with ribbons and 

incite with shapes 

unachievable without tight breath

and even tighter bones that break our own.

Our eyes droop with deficient breath,

so you see our delicate weakness. 

You can take a sword, 

swift and sharp, 

carving through your ribs.

Would you give the same silent grimace

to iron carving your ribs into a new shape?

Could you swig shallow breath

and not drown in silk chainmail?

You say yes with your simple minds,

and your arms catch our feigned falls,

eyes dripping down our bodiced necks.

No doubt you linger on how easy it would be to break,

to snap our pretty bones and 

paint our dyed dresses cherry red.

This isn’t the worst you could do,

though you think it so. 

The worst we do is bruise your pride,

sentencing you to nothing 

but the knowledge of a simple answer

to a question, you will never ask. 

You will separate linen and skin,

worse than skin and bones.

You will ruin tomorrow,

worse than taking it away.

You will hold our hands and necks gently,

and still smell the metallic juice 

of cherries.

€1 Sundays pt. 2: Alte Pinakothek 

Trading modern for masters, I left the Pinakothek der Moderne for the Alte Pinakothek. 

Paneled windows and tan stone replaced the overwhelming white of my first destination. The renaissance revival architecture a clear indication of the museum’s contrast collection. 

Founded in 1836 by Ludwig I of Bavaria, the Alte Pinakothek houses one of the oldest art collections in the world. 

Over 700 paintings populate its walls, art by Europe’s old masters spanning from the 14th to 18th century. The wonder of their world immortalized before me.

Trailing my eyes over the ancient flicks of oiled color, my mind dissolved into the stories bursting through each stroke. 

The Fairer Sex

Fine Lady,

your flesh is too white for truth,

white enough to suffocate your pores,

a different kind of corset in powdered lead,

you bargin a slow death for idle perfection. 

Finest silk,

Poised & Polished

Languid & Limited 

No sharp edges to your tongue,

no harsh threads bristling his hand on the small of your back,

all lines soft to the touch. 

Delicate, your defense. 

Lazy, your lie. 

Guarded and ignorant to manly matters,

you pull loose strings and unfurl hidden triggers,

you touch ivory notes with feeble fingers, 

you seduce glances with supple skin. 

You find power in your soft,

buried in the droop of your eyes,

in their lust for your body, 

in the limbs you are allowed, and

twirling your virtue signed over with deeds and discretion. 

Judgment

Severance & Reunions. 

Love & blood & the wandering bodies of naked men

nursed to health by Homer’s womanly words. 

Caressed and cut by mythic fates- disturbed by discontented Gods, 

their jealous egos staining creation. 

Reaching with flawless fingers for golden validation,

for the authority of their particular beauty,

in last judgment, they laugh.

Too plump with pride to see the cliff and what crux lies below. 

These petty Gods drowned out by a more covetous God,

He takes all divisions and divinity. 

Smiling the devil’s teeth

in the face of flesh. 

Damning the forked tongue he sliced,

ugly is the enemy. He calls

erase your ego. 

For your God holds all pride 

for Himself. A divine blanket

to cover His manly insecurities, 

to ease the threat of self-love,

condemned by this free love’s snaking eclipse of devotion. 

Sacrifice your severed sons, 

and still, it is not enough. 

There are no complex corridors in the pure mind. 

To question is to condemn.

Close your eyes. 

Stay silent as we trade one fantasy for another.

Drown beneath your own blood and thank Him. 

Watch within as your iron paints over clouded Olympus with His gated heaven. 

The Question of Virtue

How many versions of my falsehood have been painted by the faithful? 

Never have I laid with a man. Only angels,

So my story goes. 

My pure iris watches these men believe the right woman,

bolstered by her husband’s immaculate conviction. 

His denial deemed faith enough to cover my unfaithful.

This power of innocence & ignorance. 

My greatest indiscretion,

the proof in my child’s karmic arc. 

His fateful cross mine to bear for justice. 

Penence for the blade I drew through his father,

a vengeful passion left over from his draw through me. 

The consequence of the stains on my soul

tracked in the blood I painted red on the floor. 

A tragedy of trauma,

an act of an expanding universe. 

I must believe the strings are pulled by God,

hold his son’s head in my hands and hear the voice of heaven. 

In my dreams and delusions, He seduces me. 

Him, the taste on my tongue and the name I spit 

to believe my womanly deception. 

Pre & Post Impressionist

Embraced by the 1800s common ground,

these lines dart & dash in visions

clouded & close they come together 

as you depart. 

Van Gogh’s insanely sanctified in sunflowers,

Manet’s layered in a vision of Monet,

Monet in his aqua white flurish. 

Brushstrokes touched with the sameness 

of afternoon cigarettes ashed on cobblestone

blown to dust by shared conversation. 

Cradled in the 2000s they still converse. 

Across galleries their eyes meet,

their scenes moving in wooden frames,

touching still-their impression 

burned behind their beholder’s eyes. 

Side by side in arts infamous severance,

neighbors kept in canvased immortality.

€1 Sundays pt. 1: Pinakothek Der Moderne

On Sundays, some of Munich’s best museums are open to the public for only €1. 

Locals and tourists alike pour through their open doors, starting their week with the wonder of great master paintings, modern models, and Bavarian history.

I started my day with the Pinakothek Der Moderne. The spherical tin spaceship by the entrance the perfect introduction to the building’s futuristic feel, reminiscent of the 1970s perspective on the aesthetic.

The architect, Stephan Braunfels, took advantage of the building’s open space. Wielding windows and white walls to bounce and tunnel sunlight into its spaces. 

Premiering in September of 2002, the museum is approaching its 20th anniversary. 

Boasting four museums under one roof, the Pinakothek Der Moderne displays first a collection of art, second work-on-paper, then architecture, and finally design. Their composite making the museum home to one of the largest modern and contemporary art collections in Europe.

As I walked through the exhibitions, my attentions were drawn to two of its distinct collections. 

Design Für Olympia

A million tongues to say the same:

We challenge you.

Wir fordern dich heraus.

We charge at your records, seu sucesso, lou manuia

at your pride.

tua superbia.

We are better than your finest. 

Nous sommes meilleurs que vos meilleurs.

The lines you ski into this powdered soil are nothing. 

We carve, we carry, we achieve! 

Your common colors stand 

in stark contrast to our victory.

But us, our individual, who do we choose? 

Country or Culture?

People or Pride?

Does it matter?

What is loyalty but to ourselves?

Will our millions cheering carry our best

through their final breath on the world’s stage?

An exhale of warm air makes the same cloud

blown from different mouths.

Aren’t we all imposters in this game?

Stretching our bodies into ancient shapes.

Taking archaic tradition

and calling it our rite.

Wir fordern dich herausWe challenge you (German)
seu sucessoYour success (Portugese)
lou manuiaYour success (Samoan)
tua superbiaAt your pride (Latin)
Nous sommes meilleurs que vos meilleurs.We are better than your finest (French)

Mix and Match Collection

Side by Side & Stretched

into industrial shapes.

Your camera-flash red and my smog gray.

Your overlap and my outline.

Drawn faces,

through zigzagged truths, speak.

With the voice of photographic snaps,

still in their motion.

This perpetual pulling- closer

& closer they beckon. 

Arent we better at a distance?

Drag your tired body far enough

to appreciate our curves.

No eyeglass exposé of our gaps. 

Just watch,

light bulb minds & naked limbs dancing

with stagnant yearning- bursting from form.

Begging to scream a million of life’s secrets

in each harsh stroke, to tell

trapped truths in each arched eyebrow,

every severed line asking you to fill its empty. 

Garmisch’s Fest!

Oktoberfest! Germany’s international trademark and treasure. 

Let me stop you before you remind me it’s only August. Something as small as the month doesn’t stop the Germans.

 As the Summer circles into Autumn, each Bavarian town hosts its own fest. The tradition a traveling prelude to Oktober’s main event in Munich and Germany’s larger cities. On the second to last day of Garmish’s week-long festival, I found myself among the merriest townsfolk in my pink and green dirndl.

Participating in Oktoberfest is something I touched at eighteen while working an imitative arrangement of the celebration at the local Swim and Racquet Club. Passing out steins and pretzels to parents I’d known since childhood, I dreamed of attending the celebration in earnest. On German soil. 

Just a dream. Proven all the more elusive by the 20th of August expiration date stamped firmly in my mind by the hard-nosed and thin-lipped officer at the border, taking a breath in his interrogation to solidify my last day in the country. Before October, I was doomed to depart. 

Now my dream was real, however cheated by the Summer air. 

As I took to my two-hour-long train journey from Munich to Garmisch, my hands sought pencil and paper. I drew the fields we passed and traced the outline of the log cabin houses just beyond.

My mind wandered, and I wrote. 

Deutsche Bahn

The red shade I cast upon the page 

reveals more than simple rouge.

Like a shallow river these

curves mark my progress with 

yesterday’s sketch

pressed too hard against the bleached page. 

These twisted indents lingering 

under crimson tip

I plow. Harder over its edges,

staining the next page with overcorrection.

With this cycle,

too harsh to sever from its

ebs & flows

from its lines

arching & layered. 

The tragedy of life,

the way we trace each former version 

of our bodies,

illustrating corpses across a fresh page. 

Soon enough, my rambling was interrupted by the announcement of our arrival. I walked my corseted layers across town until I reached the calling festival entrance. 

It’s banner declared 2022’s, “Garmisch-Partenkirchen Festival!” I dipped inside. 

The Bavarian band stood tall on their wooden stage, blowing tunes through brass and beating drums in time with their string companions. Auburn liters of beer in glass Maß and the swirling layered skirts of Bavarian dirndls weaving amid a sea of embordered lederhosen delighted my eyes. 

The Oktober sentiment was as thick in the air as the smell of bratwurst and Lowenbrau wafting through the great tented hall.

With German exchanges filling my ears and the traditionally-dressed patrons crowding my vision, it proved difficult to remind myself I was in the 21st century. A black and white filter would convince me this was a different time, the only clues in lifted smartphones gripped by convincing hands. 

Sweat-soaked and sun-burned, I split fries, pretzels, and a plate of cheese with friends as we listened intently to the clashing thunder signaled by the yellow strikes of lightning just outside the tent.

That August 5th showcased traditional Bavarian dancing, the dirndl dressed and lederhosen-clad swarming the wooden set. As the waltzing congregation weaved their limbs around the floor and each other, I was transfixed. 

Struck by the way their hems dipped and the soft leather embraced embroidered flowers and vines over their shoulders. Their steps winded in circles, their loose formation cradled by the prop house behind them.

Children’s dirndls and lederhosen hung from a thin clothing line on the set’s balcony, an intimate touch. Bursting from the ambiance, the band struck their instruments in a Germanic crescendo, keeping time among the chaos of beer and conversation. 

I sipped my Helles beer, lining my lips with its foam. The taste chilled my tongue and warmed my stomach. Joining the time-capsule crowd.

Escape to Eibsee

In that sweet space, those first inches warmed by the sun’s stare, I float. 

Back flat against the cooler depths and the fish that dart below. Head amid my own flourish of sunlight, I close my eyes and listen.

Much like my afternoon at Starnberger See, my ears cling to the flutter of birds and their leaves, catching the music. Much like that afternoon, I feel at peace in the nature that overwhelms industrial growth. 

Yet, in contrast to the serene solitude of Starberger, Eibsee is populated by a metropolis of visitors. The young and the old stretch their arms in large arcs propelling their paddle boards, cycle their legs in the dual seats of paddle boats, or simply rest their sun-soaked bodies on the rocks. 

In my own drifting rest, I am joined by a duck. Traveling alone like me, she makes no sound as she splits waves with her soft and straight brown feathers. 

Her orange-ringed beak smiles at me, an exchange likely a symptom of my solo travel. All the same, I witness a sense of peace between the lake’s dwellers and its inhabitants. A passing recognition of life and a contentment in this coexistence. 

Climbing the white-spotted sky is the Zugspitze, claiming the title of the tallest mountain in Germany. At its top, you can see Austria’s alps sitting opposite the Eibsee. 

My mind cues Roger Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me, carrying Bond’s ski poles in wild crescents and planting them unconvincingly in the sharp and snowy decline. His Hollywood-blown hair cut with faint blue in front of the Apls’ chilled white. 

The real scene was filmed in the Swiss Alps, mere miles from Zugspitze’s peak. 

Even in the Summer, Zugspitze is sparkled in snow for those who take the cable-car ride to its top. Below the dusted snow, the rest of us bathe in Eibsee’s warmed waters. Rocks make up the shore that lines Eibsee’s crystal refreshment, the worthy payout for its long journey. 

In Munich, I rose at a respectable 8:15, meeting my friends in the kitchen for a coffee before we departed. Five people in a small station wagon took to the autobahn, dropping a few at their stops along the way. 

I passed the time in the fields we swept through. On either side, sprawling meadows were sprinkled with clusters of black forest trees, guarded by the Alps’ shifting shade. 

An hour took us to Garmisch, the town that greets Eibsee and the mountains that surround its valley. Its streets are home to quaint Bavarian living interrupted by two American military bases. 

Hosting diplomats and foreign ambassadors, Garmisch’s charm comes in its traditional architecture and friendly culture. It is clear the small town offers some of the best of the Bavarian countryside. 

As we reached the entrance to Eibsee, an over-crowded parking lot turned the remaining 15 minutes of our drive into a 50-minute hike. I relished the opportunity to take off into the solitude offered by the tree-lined path through the forest. 

The grass green and tickling my shins gave way to lincoln-log houses and widely enclosed pasture spaces for cattle. This seemingly endless view met my feet aside the trickling river that runs through the forest’s clusters of trees. 

The abundance captivated my eyes but could not absorb the sweat crawling down the back of my neck. The untamed magnificence powerless to take the slight incline’s burning from my thighs or stop the sun from burning its blushing presence upon my shoulders. 

I blessed the trees who gifted me slivers of shade with their narrow stocks. 

Swatting bugs from my calves and grazing my forearm across my brow, the just over two-mile hike passed. The forest’s trees opened their congregation to the face of Zugspitze and a wink of the Eibsee. I made it. 

I could not wait any longer; taking the straight path, my legs did the thinking. 

Declining the final steps between my humid body and the much-deserved dive into the coolness promised by the glittering blue. Cascading pebbles followed me down the steep ledge as I used roots and rocks to make my way down the fifteen-foot drop to the shore. 

My striped and soaked shirt soon found rest next to my denim shorts tossed on the edge of a larger stone as my body embraced the long-awaited depths. 

Hungry and tired, I took my body out of the water to lay my towel across the smoothest patch of rocks I could find. My legs collapsed as I silently reached for yesterday’s schnitzel and kasespatzle, and I quieted my aching stomach. 

Despite their desired flatness, the sharp curves beneath me made their own peaked mountain range. This lake-side rest lacking the same softness as that of its water, Eibsee beckoned. 

Here I find myself. Hovering in the brief space that collects the sun. Blissful among the rest of nature.

The Cycle of Your Water

The crisp kiss of that familiar.

That crystal sameness,

embracing your limbs as you fall,

collecting the current of your hair as you curl.

This lapping at your feet is only the hearth of home

when you are consumed,

when drowned in its depths, your

eyes closed and trusting the surface’s clarity extends

through its dark waters.

But you have to blink,

to check,

to open your swollen eyes. 

This infinite moment proves momentary, 

severed from your skin

as you drip the way 

it lingers. 

Left shivering and cold,

you look back.

Glance the mixed truth in its waves,

glare at your rippling reflection.

Only the perfect temperature

when surrounded, its

playful splashes touch you,

making falling moments cling to flesh.

You want to give in.

To jump.

To crawl back into that weightless place.

That hope.

But as you drip dry,

goosebumps replace its droplets

take their own slow moments to

disappear into your skin as

your toes curl

gripping the earth,

letting its harsh edges take you

to a new shore. 

A Day Trip To Starnberger See

Loving. 

This word writes itself in a cursive flourish across my mind as the water’s swell pulls my body up and down. Rocking me as if a baby in loving arms into a serene dream. 

The waves lap at the gentle shore, softly. Quieter still is the breeze, whistling through leaves and the beaks of shorebirds, buzzing with the bees who lovingly rest upon a bed of discarded lettuce. 

A few hours earlier, I grabbed a Bavarian sandwich and iced coffee from Rischart before catching the first leg of my trip to Starnberger See. Two train rides later found me waiting for the 975 bus that would take me the rest of the way to the waterfront. 

Five minutes passed before turning into ten, then twenty, and I was still waiting. Sweat marked my temples while my hand took a permanent station on my forehead. 

With the bus delay breaking the ice, an older German woman began speaking to me, using German, English, and Spanish to communicate. 

She told me this bus was always late or never came at all. Yesterday she waited an hour for the 975 to take her four stops. Great. 

Passing the time, she told me about how she left her bikini hanging on a big tree she frequents with her friends, noting her lack of concern; it was clear that Bavaria is a place of neighborly trust. A place where you could leave your belongings swinging in the breeze for days, undisturbed. How strange.

Soon our conversation turned to the Bavarian climate. What used to be sunny Summers and white Winters are now hot and humid then snowless. Global warming, this word is universal.

Approaching forty minutes, the bus finally arrived, chock-full of backpack-toating students and the walking stick generation. As we drifted along the sparsely populated road to the lake, my new friend pointed out the small town of Starnberg’s most notable landmarks.  

“There is the college, they can walk to the beach in five minutes.”

“There’s the kids pool, there is a sauna inside but the pool has too many kids.”

“There is the castle, Schloss Berg, but be careful- its private.”

At last, we arrived at our stop. The only riders to get off, we took to the quiet path that passed abandoned mansions and dissolved into the water. 

As we parted, I wished her luck and took off towards the castle in search of a calm clearing I could claim for the afternoon. The abundant trees arched their growing arms toward each other, enclosing the path in a world of green. Peaking through the leaves, the blue-eyed lake rippled with the rhythm of the wind. 

Half a mile into my stroll, the trail opened up to a small field of grass lying just before the rocks that marked the entrance to the cool waters of Starnberger See. 

I called it mine, flying my towel in the soft air before giving it rest on a patch of thick grass under a leafy awning. Unwrapping my sandwich, I relished the mustard taste on my tongue, gifting the pickle and tomato to the insects humming a few feet away. 

With the insects at bay, I could stretch out and relax, weaving the yarn of my latest crochet project as the Jets sang Cigarettes and Cola in my ear. 

It wasn’t long before the promise of cool crystal waves pulled my body from its place under the tree’s shade. 

Warm. Starnberger’s waters kissed my knees with the fresh warmth of a cooled coffee. Not quite the same as the sea-side air, but not far from it. 

Submerging myself in this embrace, I felt myself let go of a breath of air. 

This is why I came. 

This is why I came alone.

For this perfect union of bodies. 

For this quiet paradise.

Petty Joys

If you were here, I would care for these petty grievances. 

I would be bothered 

by the ants who cross the intersection of my toes. 

by the wasps who braid through my golden hair,

thinking the strands stalks in their garden. 

I would feel a sting in the lapping water that grips my waist

or recognize the sharp slice of rocks beneath me

realize the eroded edge that challenges my callouses. 

I would feel loss as my beloved chalice is lost in the waves,

would swim desperately after its bobbing head,

instead of letting it go.

But you are my grievance, and

you are not here to make me petty.

To juxtapose these small tragedies with your brilliance,

to make me see the rest of the world less perfect than your smile. 

Without you, I have these natural perfections, I have myself.

This is my gift. My privilege. My soft comfort. 

With you lost, everything else is found.

Iced Coffee Escapades pt. 1

Einen Icekaffee bitte? *insert a poorly mimed pouring motion*

Eight times out of ten, this question is met with a sharp “nein” and a sympathetically confused smile. As for the other two, the answer is, “ja! Ice cappuccino?” 

As a barista (in America at least), ordering an iced cappuccino proves you know nothing about coffee. Yet, in Munich, it means you are ordering the only iced drink on the menu. Thus I am actively trying to fight the instinct to roll my eyes and instead appreciate the fact that I am getting ice in my drink. A small sacrifice for the sake of staying cool.

Perhaps it is the American in me or simply my infantile refusal to burn my tongue on a piping hot cup. Either way, the outcome is the same: an essential hunt for caffeine over ice! It must be done. 

Before my arrival in Europe, I knew I was kissing my beloved 32ounce Dunkin iced coffee goodbye; and that ice in anything other than a cocktail would be hard to find. 

I digress. I have done the work (very hard work I know), and below is my first guide to discovering the best places for iced coffee in steamed espresso-loving Munich. 

Kaffee Espresso Kolonial

With an eclectic spread of vintage furniture and decorations, the Kolonial serves ambiance with a side of high-quality espresso. Much to my excitement, their menu includes an excellent iced cappuccino and a small selection of pastry items.

If you forgot to bring your own entertainment- that is no problem here as there are more than enough vintage posters, intriguing fixtures, and engaging signs populating the walls. The most common type of posters displayed in the Kolonial are the old cigarette advertisements that hail from different countries and regions of Germany.

Though I loved looking at all of the colorful decorations inside of the cafe, my favorite part of this cafe exists outside. In the shape of a cigarette-smoking bird with a bouncing hat and beer in hand, the best of Kolonial greets you from the window adjacent to the very front door.

Sallis: Kaffeerosterei & Espressobar

A few blocks away from Kaffee Espresso Kolonial is Sallis, a charming spot for locally roasted espresso and light fare. If their selection of morning sweets weren’t enough to win me over, the chalkboard menus finished the job.

Locking eyes with the menu, I saw not only one choice of iced drinks but many. Cold brews, iced lattes, iced cappuccinos, and iced chai lattes are only the headliners. 

Sallis is truly a cafe after my heart. 

Even sweeter was the beautiful barista who made my iced latte and offered me a selection of apricot, raspberry, and vanilla-filled butter croissants. Opting for the raspberry croissant, I was not disappointed. 

The flakey pastry paired with raspberry jam and perfectly roasted espresso quickly jumped to the top of my list of best ways to start the day. 

Unrestrained from the “cafe” box of other coffee shops in the area, Sallis offers a wide selection of espresso beans and related products. For the coffee connoisseur who desires local espresso brewed at their own hands, Sallis has everything you need in one utterly charming shop. 

Rischart Cafe

 Situated just outside the Rotkreuzplatz train station, this cafe is ideal for grabbing a quick coffee to go before boarding your train. That being said, Rischart also provides a lovely outdoor pavilion nestled under a vibrant awning of green, making the cafe a seemless extension of Munich’s tranquil blend of nature and community. 

Inside, Rischart offers a wide selection of freshly-baked pastries, traditional sandwiches, and of course, iced coffee. After pursuing the spread, I decided on the Bavarian sandwich and asked for an iced coffee.

The barista immediately said yes, and poured my drink out of a pitcher of cooled coffee. Real iced coffee at last! I nearly jumped for joy. No mix of steamed milk that falls lukewarm over a sparing cluster of ice, Rischart keeps it simple. Just how I like it.

As I sat outside to enjoy the views of local farm stands, the soft flow of bike traffic, and the pavilion’s centerpiece fountain statue, I had no choice but to appreciate the quaint moment of urban serenity Rischart fosters. Taking a bite of my sandwich, I fell in love with this Bavarian staple. 

Serving ham, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and mustard on a perfectly sized triangle of sesame seed bread, this classic sandwich exists across many bakeries and cafes in the city. Yet I’d wager that Rischart knows best. I could (and will) order this sandwich ten times over, and still, it will satisfy. 

Cafe-Konditorei

On the quiet street of Blutenburgstraße, Cafe-Konditorei occupies a soft space for pastries, juices, wines, and coffee. Looking in, you are met with a vibrant window display of orange and yellow flowers and wooden butterflies dressed in violet. 

Advertising its Geeister Latte Macchiato from outside, I was drawn in after translating the word Geeister into iced. An instant favorite, this drink is as rich as it is sweet, without being deeply bitter or sickeningly sugary. 

If you, unlike me, want something other than coffee to drink, Konditorei still has you covered with a variety of juices and iced teas. Taking your beverage of choice to the tables out front, you are surrounded by modest apartment buildings and small local shops. 

Konditorei stands as one of the only AM eateries in its immediate area; yet remains calm as locals, young and old, come and go. Watch bikers make their way down the cobblestone pavement aside young families pushing strollers and holding hands with their little ones, and you will become a part of the peaceful atmosphere this cafe promotes. 

As my journey through Europe continues, there will surely be many additions to this series. 

For now, I will leave you as I always do, with a poem.

Espresso Trist

swirls of milky white

meet eager browns.

as the penetrating aroma teases.

and it is all too easy

for me to fall in love.

again, with something

so constant it should capture no interest. 

but still, 

my breath is stolen from me

as i blush and stumble 

through our first conversation.

my hands grasp 

chilled plastic

and we sweetly graze

lips in our first

kiss.

the pounding- buzzing- overwhelming 

chatter of the world

is silenced.

in quiet observation 

of our love affair.

but our touch vanishes. 

every drop pulled 

through loving lips drains you.

my sweet distraction

torn from my clear-cupped soul.

yet

there it is again. 

the deep aroma

tugging me in a familiar direction. 

The Beginnings of a Munich Love-Affair

If Berlin is New York City, then Munich is Chicago. 

Straddling the heavy traffic of tourism, business, and university youth with abundant nature, authentic culture, and neighborly warmth, Munich is truly the beating heart of German Bavaria. 

As an American girl with German heritage, fitting in is easy… as long as I don’t open my mouth. Yet sadly, a smile only lasts so long before it is my turn to speak, and “Hallo, Danke” falls short of ordering me Rosé. Once this happens, the mirage is shattered, and I must reluctantly accept the “English menu” from the lovely waiter who just spent five minutes conversing with my blank-grin face. 

At one such place, Pizzazza, my inevitable glass of Rose was so good I agreed to go on a date with the bartender. Walking down Nymphenburger Straße with someone who has lived here for over ten years, you can’t help but feel the comforting presence of community that undeniably envelopes the city. Smiles meet smiles as you cross paths with pedestrians, and once you break the ice, they are eager to hear where you are from, what you are doing, and what you think about their captivating city. 

Aside from the countless family-run businesses contributing to Munich’s neighborly atmosphere, another amiable presence lies in the lush and strikingly green parks that mark every few blocks of the metropolis. 

Grunwald Park is a great place to start, offering a bite-sized preview of what Munich’s larger parks supply. In grassy clearings, the young sunbathe and play football across from play structures populated by their even younger counterparts. As you walk along the park’s bench-lined path, you will find people sitting with their partners, friends, and dogs, enjoying the sweet sounds of nature that ring through the trees.

Crossing Grunwald, you meet one end of the Schloßgartenkanal river that feeds into the Badenburger See lake resting behind Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace. For fans of expansive manors, carefully manicured gardens, gushing fountains, gaudy gold embellishments, and statues that hover between artistically impressive and uniquely disturbing, the Versaille-inspired Nymphenburg Palace and Park will captivate you. 

Perched perfectly across the street from the palace’s entrance, Metzgerwirt restaurant provided the refreshing Dunkle beer and delicious potato soup I needed after charting just a percentage of Nymphenburg Park’s 490 acres. 

Despite the humidity of Munich’s July, it remains the most walkable city I have visited. Level ground and the shade the frequent forests afford make each journey as interesting, beautiful, and exciting as the destination. 

On my journey home from Nymphenburg Palace, I couldn’t help but take a moment on a riverside park bench to greet its unphased ducks and write.

Warm & New & Known

Soft sun glazes over eyes

owned by ancestors-

My iris blueprinted by bavarian veins 

before braving the word America.

Where we stay crisp & starched,

bleaching over heritage with pop culture,

tumbling our DNA through the melting pot

of oil and water who refuse to see 

likeness in each other’s liquid humanity. 

From short lens I scream:

See through this cycling,

and go home. Find your old,

find something new where it all began-

add, elaborate, stop bleaching.

Hear the harsh letters fall,

schön from honey blonde lips,

the same sweet you have & harvest.

New veins pump blood as ancient as the Bavarian spruce,

whose roots network under my planted feet.

Pulsing, absorbing, rediscovering its own soil.

Pushing honey into new leaves, just

to taste them again with the next season. 

Circling, cycling, a ringed infinity

showing me how 

my drops of honeyed blood bleed home;

telling me this is only where we start.

John Donne Thesis Collection

The Flea

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,   

How little that which thou deniest me is;   

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,

And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;   

Thou know’st that this cannot be said

A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,

Yet this enjoys before it woo,

And pampered swells with one blood made of two,

And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.   

This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;   

Though parents grudge, and you, w’are met,   

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

Though use make you apt to kill me,

Let not to that, self-murder added be,

And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since

Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?   

Wherein could this flea guilty be,

Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?   

Yet thou triumph’st, and say’st that thou   

Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;

’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:

Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,

Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

Your Fool

How easily I am swept away,

though to you, I fear, this is only a game. 

You, dripping with sugar and sweetness

render my virtuous lips speechless. 

Your words playing with love do curl 

my innocent thoughts, like a little girl.

I know you think me a fool,

but I can’t tell if you are simply cruel. 

A conniving, salacious, and thieving tool. 

My dress falls away with the caress of your fingers,

swift and expert, though their touch lingers.

I sparkle and dance with illustrious fire,

as long as you tell me I’m your only desire. 

Promise you’ll stay even after you’ve had me,

and declare that forever, I’ll be your greatest victory. 

Perhaps it’s always been me, the fool

drowning my affection in your vivacious pool,

where your words betray reason, painting me beautiful.

I feel I must go along with you,

testing the waters to see if you prove true.

With your talk of fleas and blood combining, 

it is clear to see how hard you are trying.

Though it is true you license my worst desires,

I fear that too quickly, of me, you’ll tire. 

Departing and leaving me empty so soon,

my face red and puffy, I’ll cry to the moon-

for some starry escape from our coming doom. 

Woman’s Consistency

Now thou has loved me one whole day,

Tomorrow when you leav’st, what wilt thou say?

Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?

            Or say that now

We are not just those persons which we were?

Or, that oaths made in reverential fear

Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear?

Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,

So lovers’ contracts, images of those,

Bind but till sleep, death’s image, them unloose?

            Or, your own end to justify,

For having purposed change and falsehood, you

Can have no way but falsehood to be true?

Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could

            Dispute and conquer, if I would,

            Which I abstain to do,

For by tomorrow, I may think so too.

Man’s Consistency

That first night you swore, you would never leave.

Each day with you, i grew more willing to believe.

The fruits of your labors you tied ‘round my wrist,

all diamonds and tokens i couldn’t resist.

Yet in reflections of crystal,

I met only my own eyes- vacant

distractions in shallow pools of green.

Quickly forgiving your absence, rather calling you sweet.

Victory is yours, if it’s victory you desire,

Cloud my pretty mind with pretty things, and your sins are forgiven-

Yet never forgotten, for you are forever indiscreet.

Too soon you leave again, 

and I weep for affection or glitter in vain.

Not long after leaving, you’ve forgotten my name.

Tracing fingers down her back like our love is a game. 

It took me a while, but now it is plain,

you love like the moon- both with wax and with wane. 

Holy Sonnet X

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.

Thou’art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppy’or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Holy Sonnet Xb

Life be not proud, though some who seek her are 

With chest plump and head held high

They speak as though they reach the sky

Above the others, they maim and scar

And think it nothing but simple spar

When life strikes down those unkind

Who seek her image through another’s eye

Thinking envy is everything, reaching for the wrong star

Slaves to chance yet bound to expectation

The prideful flounder, never tasting life’s flavors

Desiring depth without toil in life’s lasting labors

For high horses need blinders for quick evasion

With winding roads everchanging and hard

Life cannot be conquered, however prideful you are.

The Prohibition 

           Take heed of loving me ;

At least remember, I forbade it thee ;

Not that I shall repair my unthrifty waste

Of breath and blood, upon thy sighs and tears,

By being to thee then what to me thou wast ;

But so great joy our life at once outwears.

Then, lest thy love by my death frustrate be,

If thou love me, take heed of loving me.

            Take heed of hating me,

Or too much triumph in the victory ;

Not that I shall be mine own officer,

And hate with hate again retaliate ;

But thou wilt lose the style of conqueror,

If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.

Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,

If thou hate me, take heed of hating me.

            Yet love and hate me too ;

So these extremes shall ne’er their office do ;

Love me, that I may die the gentler way ;

Hate me, because thy love’s too great for me ;

Or let these two, themselves, not me, decay ;

So shall I live thy stage, not triumph be.

Lest thou thy love and hate, and me undo,

O let me live, yet love and hate me too.

The Drink

I hover and hesitate, before loving you,

for I can never wholly believe you are true.

In this way if you prove false

and tear away from my heart,

no blood will drain or slow my pulse.

For I never begged to be your sweetheart. 

After all my walls that you blew,

I’ll never surrender everything to you.

I can never seem to hate you.

After all, there is nothing you ask me to do,

but love and cherish every day.

It seems all others cannot contend

with the sugar that drips from each word you say;

Forming promises of love around each bend.

if you will truly stay and follow through,

Then nothing fearful I will do.

In stopping you from the leave of me,

I never could but let you be. 

For if you truly wish to depart,

I’ll have no grand declarations to entreat.

But I’ll ask you once if it is smart,

for gaining my love is quite a feat.

Tides of love come and go,

as I hover and hesitate in feeling,

you wash over me.

Elegy 8: To His Mistress Going to Bed

Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy,

Until I labour, I in labour lie.

The foe oft-times having the foe in sight,

Is tir’d with standing though he never fight.

Off with that girdle, like heaven’s Zone glistering,

But a far fairer world encompassing.

Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear,

That th’eyes of busy fools may be stopped there.

Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime,

Tells me from you, that now it is bed time.

Off with that happy busk, which I envy,

That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.

Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals,

As when from flowery meads th’hill’s shadow steals.

Off with that wiry Coronet and shew

The hairy Diadem which on you doth grow:

Now off with those shoes, and then safely tread

In this love’s hallow’d temple, this soft bed.

In such white robes, heaven’s Angels used to be

Received by men; Thou Angel bringst with thee

A heaven like Mahomet’s Paradise; and though

Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know,

By this these Angels from an evil sprite,

Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.

    Licence my roving hands, and let them go,

Before, behind, between, above, below.

O my America! my new-found-land,

My kingdom, safeliest when with one man mann’d,

My Mine of precious stones, My Empirie,

How blest am I in this discovering thee!

To enter in these bonds, is to be free;

Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.

    Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee,

As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth’d must be,

To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use

Are like Atlanta’s balls, cast in men’s views,

That when a fool’s eye lighteth on a Gem,

His earthly soul may covet theirs, not them.

Like pictures, or like books’ gay coverings made

For lay-men, are all women thus array’d;

Themselves are mystic books, which only we

(Whom their imputed grace will dignify)

Must see reveal’d. Then since that I may know;

As liberally, as to a Midwife, shew

Thy self: cast all, yea, this white linen hence,

There is no penance due to innocence.

    To teach thee, I am naked first; why then

What needst thou have more covering than a man.

I, the mistress in your bed

Master and Mistress we play this game,

fantasies and fancies never twice the same.

You- with those green glittering eyes,

take sight of me without disguise.

Boldly beckoning to me in bed, 

my lips protest- you come to me instead.

You told me once I’ve never said no.

It’s true, with you, I’ve never been slow.

Just touch me and my bells chime,

for it is you I want every time.

Your eyes are guilty of holding me captive, 

they’re all I see while the rest of you is active.

I, my master in my own dress,

you own once I undress. 

At times I wonder

how you got me under

your thumb and your whims, 

ever controlling the will of my limbs. 

One moment I’m my own, but not in the next.

for I am your mistress, forever lost in your hex.

For every ounce of my trust, 

I gift with pleasure to your violent lust.

Flip my master room to your playground,

you take the role of master now. 

There you are walking, fingering the hem,

while I fall like a flower in need of steam.

My petals-for minutes- have layed on the floor.

Still you move so slowly with all I adore. 

Face softening- hardening- in view of me.

I go where ever you will be.

My country and my body, 

you grasp and embody.

Your newfound land,

mountains and curves only you understand. 

Trace me now and with your fingers

real touch, at last, I feel how it lingers.

Time and time again am i undone,

but by the end, it’s me who has won. 

For you rest in my bed, all through the night;

and each morning it’s only me you bite.

These echoing halls recite our laughter

even after

you have seen me all,

love and lust endure and enthrall.

Master or Mistress, it does not matter,

all discarded clothes are equal in tatter.

The truth is we are both to blame,

our lust a beast we’ll never tame.