There was a buzz about Checkpoint Charley –
A flaunted aura of razzmatazz.
American soldiers – zwei euro a photo – stood
Broad with wandering eyes.
Patience fraying, we crossed the wall - casting to
Echo the American throng and waft of
A graffitied canvas of a city cut into blurs
And soon we were rounding a sleeping corner
To the place where Hitler died.
Beige was the ground.
No speak or sight of keychains and t-shirts.
Just a seemingly docile snooze.
But here among the parked cars and raised blocks
Something unspoken was chiselling the gravel
Like colonies of dead fingernails;
The secret guiltily seaming the air,
Loaded like a pistol.
If you didn’t know you’d smell the breeze and guess.
And that is Berlin’s nutshell.
A few tourist books had it earmarked; a single
Plaque, malleted into ground, marked the spot.
But a mere half-dozen drifters were there to
Stop and stand uneasy on the dust, conjuring:
It was here in this car park
That Evil screwed up his eyes,
Clenched his molars,
Thought about… something,
And fired death into his brain.