The Blood

Darling Fitch


at the border of self-sabotage and
that marks the end of war,
the Nazis blew up
as much as they could
of the Karstadt department store
on April 25th, 1945
while retreating from Soviet soldiers
who fought street by street
building by building down
until they came to the Platz.
There were
administrative records of the most
unspeakable bureaucracy.
The boring business of death.

Seventy-five years later we filter
in and out with our
flowers and
home furnishings.
Everyone on this street is poor,
in their pockets and lungs.
We cling to the neighborhood like
stubborn soot that’s
made by all that machinery,
still grinding on.
It’s just the way things are done here.
Very modern. We all cough.
And keep on breathing.

The new catch comes when
the men who invest in all this decide
they want to keep the mechanism going
but pretend the dirt isn’t part of it.
A billion euro business plan
a name for that,
or two.
The grandsons of those old dynamite boys of ’45 are
coming on now,
coming on good.
They’re going to explode the whole thing this time
and rain down cash that
cleans the streets somehow.
Our throats are raw with paper cuts
as we look up and gape
at the future of Europe.
And wait for the blood.


Darling Fitch (they/them) is a Berlin-based writer, musician and performance artist. Publications include Berlin Art Prize, Transnational Queer Underground, Anti-Heroin Chic and Ghost City Review.

Consider supporting Protean Magazine on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!