Luke Beesley
An Arrangement with Berlin
New Poems From Australia

He arranged the leaves alphabetically, pausing at the red ones, cursing autumn in the style of
a sneeze—in one breath. Germany.

                                   (The word’s almost geriatric relationship to the capital G).

Munich (brushed against the vein)—a blue stripe tip-toed along the town as the Rhone—
looking at the atlas in the camp store, Saturday. In the corner where the customers ran,
there was a girl in a sleeping bag. She stepped out and down the isle and away to the back of
the store, where they put up new tents for displays,

            When red and yellow come together in a flag. When medicine is taken and the taste.

Seven of the customers arranged a cheer near the army knives. The flags fell down. Some
music floated in on a strong westerly. Rare accidental processions of wound down windows
and pumping rhythms. Shinny foreheads and the soft gaze on thighs, skirts and some keen
picketers—fishing protests, the numbers surprising the usual leftists. Keen statisticians
calculated the lucky fish that Saturday, and with the bay full there was talk of flooding in
some beachside townships, the conversations leading to marriages and late afternoon
walks—new scents and friendships.