I want Berlin again

tucked away in my pocket

The Brandenburg Gate my sanctuary.

I want Berlin,


in abandoned airports


in sunsets and people,

getting lost on the metro

between Hermannstraße and Alexanderplatz,

finding myself again

along the U-Bahn route.

Berlin in me

in my bones and in my hair

breathing with me

the unapologetic me

the kind of free England couldn’t offer

the kind of free he couldn’t offer.

I want Berlin again

until I’ve drank enough culture

danced with more than one stranger.

I need her April warmth

to kiss me the way he couldn’t

to suck the English rose

and all her thorns from my body

plant cornflowers in my lungs instead.

I need you, Berlin, all to myself

need soil unspoiled by his touch

because the German word for love

is silk on my tongue

even if love itself is acid in my throat.


Words by Nabeela Saghir

Photo by Umar Saghir