by Matt Potter

He had a C & A shopping bag, sweet sleepy eyes, and white socks above blue sneakers.

The U-Bahn sped on for Gesundbrunnen and I grabbed the overhead rail, flexing my biceps and easing my pelvis in his direction.

Behind me as I flipped the door handle to get off, sleepy eyes caught mine in the reflected glass. Definitely Deutscher.

No chance for Hallo, we sank into an unlit station doorway and he fumbled through my shorts. Nicht hier, I said. And followed him in the dark to a nearby park.

Swatting bendy boughs, striding through the thicket all purpose and haste, the C & A shopping bag rustled as he tossed it on the ground. Kneeling in front of me and unzipping my fly, Hast du einen Partner? I asked.

A breeze blew. Passers passed by. A gate clanged, feet shuffling as they followed a footpath.

And I wondered if his purchase, nestled amongst the dirt — perhaps an inexpensive t-shirt or two? — was for him or the partner he might have.

I groaned. And zipped my fly.

Danke schön, I said, so perfectly polite in the English language way.

He wiped his smile, grabbed the C & A shopping bag, and left.

As I walked back to the station, I caught him lighting a cigarette and exhaling as, getting into a car, he kissed a man on the lips and began talking with great animation.