she did an impression of a German comedian.

I did an impression of a French mime.

she explained herself.

I said, “I didn’t know him.”

she said he was really funny.

leaning her face close to mine
with her eyes very wide,
“Berlin,” she said, “is a horrible city.”

she was from Hanover,
studied in Hamburg,
second richest city in Germany
after Munich.

“I know Hamburg—The Beatles.”

“they’ve built a memorial square.”

“I wouldn’t want to see that.”
“what’s wrong with Berlin?” I asked.

“it’s still divided. I don’t like it.”

“isn’t everywhere divided?”

“no, not here.”

“you think?”

“yes, I love it here.”

she told me a joke
I didn’t understand.


Vaughan Gunson is a writer living in Hikurangi, Northland. His poems have been published in a number of publications in New Zealand. He teaches art history at NorthTec in Whangarei and is the curator of the campus gallery. More of Vaughan’s poetry can be found at falling away from blue.