the black woman at the bus stop, next to me; her skin is sweating indigo pearls under her black jacket and scarf. she is eating a banana. in the early winter evening i see the white of her eyes, the white skinned banana, her white teeth and then the vicious pink flash of her mouth as she takes a bite.

for three years it’s been standing there, each winter a reminder of sunny summers and swimming, erect but impotent in this northern climate. not once did i need to open it’s four square meters of shade, not that i ever could in this place nor that it was needed; it would darken the house and dwarf the garden. i look out the window at it with a certain resentment there amongst the fallen leaves.

the sickeningly sweet smell of hormones and cheap perfume in my daughter’s room after she’s gone out and forgot to switch off the lights. i remember myself at her age, the brazen acrid scent of boys in the boarding school preparing for a school dance after athletics practice.

went out dancing; seems the most sane thing to do on this cold night which your lies made even colder. i paint my nails black in the hope of hiding the blackness in my heart, it distracts me. i speak to my cousin and find more comfort in her despair than in your feigned affection. i go to the usual place, i like it, it reminds me of a place i used to go to before your indifference. i lose myself a bit, i lose you a lot, i like it.

it wasn’t long before he noticed me, before he noticed that i noticed him; tall and daring, even taller than me. he starts shouting in my ear in a southern accent i cant’t place. we switch to german, it’s much better, i like his hand on my shoulder, i feel vulnerable but strong under the touch of his big hands and his kind gaze. the coloured scarf under his collar makes me dizzy, i smell its wild pattern of pink and gold. i don’t remember you till the next morning.