by Matt Potter
They sit inside my bag, hanging from my shoulder, swaying with each turn the bus takes.
(How are you? both postcards say. Hope you're good.)
The bus turns right. The Siegessäule, gilt and angel-topped, rises tall and imposing on the left.
(One postcard features the Siegessäule with die Siegessäule embossed on the front. Victory Column, it says on the back. The other shows the view from the column crown, east past summer trees to Brandenburger Tor.)
Veering right, the bus cruises through Tiergarten. Left, I see parkland and cyclists and sun. Right: picnic blankets, naked men and lunchtime assignations.
(It's sunny and humid here in Berlin, I wrote on both postcards. And I miss you.)
I get off near Kleiststraße and walk towards Kurfürstendamm. My bag's leather strap rubs sweat into my chest, and I stop at a yellow postbox.
(I wish you were here with me. Berlin should be shared.)
The postcards stick together with my stamp spit. I prise them apart.
(And fucking you in this sticky heat would be fun …)
Right names? Check. Right addresses? Check. Right greetings? Yes, all correct.
(… gripping your ankles …)
I kiss them both on their names and closing my eyes so I don't know which is first, slip them through the slot marked Andere Postleitzahlen. Other Postal Codes, not Berlin.
(Ich liebe dich, Me xxx)
They drop silently inside.
I picture kissing their mouths. And wonder who will get his postcard first.
All rights reserved.
This story was written for Week #28 (theme: the postcard) for '52 / 250 - A Year of Flash'. I caught the bus many times - almost every day - when I lived in Berlin. And often I would write postcards in a job lot, and they would so often sound or read the same ...