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(Babylon-Berlin 1929; Seasons 1-3)

In a trash-strewn

common courtyard

pig brains slosh round cracked white bowls

near a pail of blood whose level

slowly rises. Chained hounds

slaver for scraps.

Mostly it rains:

beneath black umbrellas

surging in aimless rhythms

dark fluids slick cobblestones

of foggy lanes, the vast flat plain

called Alexanderplatz.

Nothing is what

it seems. Our feisty girl detective

whores by night.

She’s not her sister’s sister.

The wraithlike therapist

may (or may not)

be our haunted

hero’s lost brother.

A phantom fortune is (then is not)

painted coal. Undergrounds

sprout cellars -- arrogant

puppeteers new strings.

Corruption coils

through sleek salons

like whiffs of spoiled meat

while crowds break into

manic dance. What’s real?

Who is mad?

Meanwhile the

Crash of all things

civil looms.

                  One need not linger

to see the baleful signal

blinking towards

our back-lit troubled days.

Version first published in The Raven's Perch, 28 July 2022

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