untitled (september 2020 – vienna poem)

Retrieved from Vienna airport,
From amongst tourism adverts for Vienna.
Unmasked to puffy redness, faced by the heat
And the stiffness of wanted, resumed familiarity.

Beyond the adverts and explicitness of the sky
Nestled the flat, between the childish
Eis-parlour and the exclusivity of a non-migratory serving primary –
For entry to gymnasiums and lucrativity.

Introduced to Mokka pots as she said how
All the decoration there was stuff they liked,
As opposed to what looked good,
Preferring, for instance, the smoothness of a building
Ohne gargoyles and figures from history –
An exception made for the theatre: busts of Goethe and Shakespeare, specifically.

Having last intruded upon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we exchanged
Accounts of feeling like lower class imposters, smelling of cigarettes,
Sitting in the front row, somewhat undeservedly.

Following these sightings, we shifted, gravitated I suppose,
Towards the bars, our crosses populating the level minus of the tabletops.
Coasters historically taken from here and other establishments ending up
Covering the space above the kitchen doorframe the next evening,
In preparation for a party where I was told to greet with ‘servus’
And contract my how are yous to ‘wie gehts?’

Waking up late to orange juice and matching morning light –
Hair flaring and mingling with the floating crumbs hovering above their
Source pieces of stray, toasted bröt – the radio announced
Increasing numbers whilst we continued making plans for the day.

Hopping on and off trams, not paying, noticing the severe
Absence of statues of women in the university square.
Saving the time together in our own patient way;
As obvious as oida is ubiquitous.

Hours spent in the park and intimate moments
By the bike cellar, her best friend providing a lift
To a view over the city, the lack of stars above
Compensated for by the twinkling from distant flats and houses –
Even further, at the very edge of visibility, the red-lit
Autobahn stretching out east towards Bratislava, from where
I had entered Vienna the first time, soundtracked by Kruder und Dorfmeister.
Gestures with extended fingers extended the evening, prolonged further by
Disagreements over the geography of childhood memories, feeling disturbed
I hadn’t shared them.

Tattooing empty and unfolded cigarette packets with
Our respective signatures and silly drawings –
Sure to be saved from disposal in spite of provenance.

A sad ending by refusing to end the day –
Staying up to see if it could bring change,
Lulled by melodies made for these exact situations,
Indulging in the feeling of leaving a person rather than a place.

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