Her oh-so-tender Heart

or Vision of living in a subdued homeland

„In the end “, she says

peeking outside between the boards on our window.

“they are just people like us.”

Her naked arms look skinny

in the dim light of our room.

“Afraid and misunderstood.

Confused.

Incited by a vocal minority.”

“No”, I say

slouching on our mouldy once green armchair.

My eyes are dry

as I was keeping watch

the whole night.

“They are against us

in every way possible.

They just hate us.

End of story.”

She turns around and looks at me

reproachfully.

Dust particles dance around her small frame.

I return her look

without expression.

She folds her arms, as if she was freezing.

Then she strolls over, glances down on me,

takes a seat on the arm rest.

“You’ve changed”, she says.

Her shoulder softly touches mine.

“I know”, she says,

“you want to join them out there.

And fight.”

I remain silent.

We listen to the slogans that are chanted outside.

Suddenly she is bending over me. The tips of her hair tickle my face.

I can’t quite place the expression

she pins me down with.

“Your lovely hair”, I brush an amber-coloured strand out of her face.

“It still looks so summerly.”

“Summerly?”

“I don’t know. It just came to my mind.”

I ponder.

“It reminds me of the day at the beach. You know,

when the wind took your light blue hat away

and I failed to retrieve it.”

She smiles.

Days at the beach, I think to myself,

while I drink in her smile,

sticky sun milk

the pain of sunburn

sand grains on our naked skin

those days are over.

Her face comes closer to mine.

How she manages to smell so good

in this filthy lair of ours

is beyond me.

“You think”, she says. “That I don’t miss it.”

“That I don’t know how much we lost.”

I want to silence her

naiveté

with a kiss.

“You think I don’t comprehend

their anguish and fear.

Your anguish and fear. But I do.”

You don’t.

It’s not anguish, it’s anger. It’s not fear, it’s repulsion.

“It’s a spiral downwards.

We need peace on the streets

to be able to talk

to negotiate.”

“Freedom”, I say, “is not up for negotiation.”

And I shove her off me

softly.

And I think with frustration that

they

even managed to ruin

this moment of tenderness

between us.

I walk over to the boarded-up window

that bars out the offensive sunshine.

But not the noise.

“I believed in it once.

I believed in debate and arguments.

That we’re all equally good and bad

and all that other

hypocritical shit.

But the time for debate

is long over.”

I sound like a black-clad villain

out of a movie

and I’m afraid to turn around

and see the expression

of aversion

on her face.

But I hear soft steps

and feel her warmth beside me.

“You know”, she says.

“I’m not afraid of their restrictions, their vitriolic belief.

I can endure.”

I hear the tears in her voice.

“What I fear is

that you’ll be turning into someone

I don’t recognise anymore.

So that I would have to walk away from you.

Because it would eat me up inside

to see you like that.”

An explosion-like noise

somewhere far away.

We don’t even flinch anymore.

“All I’m going to do

I’m doing out of

love

for you”, I say. It sounds so fake.

She thinks so too and looks at me

like one would look

at a problem child.

And I just lean forward

and stormily kiss

her teary face.

And I know she does not feel like kissing

right now.

But she endures.

Because her rejection

would be my final straw.

She endures.

Because of her

oh-so-tender heart.

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