The bathroom Schwanen, Bernau

A welcoming bathroom, this: blond wood and glass,
the white enamel washbasin fashionably raised
above the shiny white top. And it was talking to me.

The air was alive with hissing and burbling, with ticking
and clicks, snatches of songs; and borne on this stream,
now, and again now, half-caught, the ghosts of words.

Doubtless a rational explanation applied, involving valves,
matters of pressure, bubbles of air trapped in pipes –
but still: that room had a message for me. In the dark

it was whispering secrets; in the small hours its hisses
grew desperate, offering the answers to all my questions –
and I lay listening all night, too tired to understand –


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