A soft, blurry, circular, geometric pattern of blue and white

Initiation.

This is the story of my arrival to Berlin.

1. The setting. (Separation) t is spring 2019, and I have just moved to Berlin. I am filled with excitement and curiosity to rediscover the city I was born in, but that I haven’t lived in since I was a toddler. I am still able to romanticise the U-bahn and the fact that I sleep in a bare room on a shitty mattress. It suits the coming of age narrative I created in my head. The 30 days I spent here so far have been full of encounters and activities, as if I made it my goal to explore each facet of the city as fast as possible.

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A black and white ink drawing of barren plants surrounded by a thin, wiggly border

soul death in a digital dating app

Have you ever walked into a room on a warm evening and noticed an unpleasant odor? So unpleasant and complicated that it is visible to the naked eye?

I haven’t smoked for two months, yet I wake up every day with an acid taste in my mouth. The bitterness that I reflect to others mirrors the bitterness within me. It’s a bitterness so rich with associations, so raw and complicated.

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A bird's eye view of where the river Tietê, São Paulo used to be, and is now is dried and filled with cars, appearing to have been abandoned in the middle of a traffic jam. Green trees and bushes grow above many car tops, between concrete walls.

I try to remember and all I can taste is earth.

I am writing this days after the Ahr river flooded in the west of Germany, killing 184 people.* The pictures, a friend says, look photoshopped, as they show me how to move the cursor from right to left, displaying the before and after scenes. All I can think is ‘less green.’ The same friend tells me of the flooding of the Elbe river that happened in 2002, and that it was Eurocentrically named “the flood of the century” (Jahrhundert Flut). After all, most floods of this century have not covered European soil. The broken banks are presented as a governmental failure to predict, re-inforce, and secure. Control measures failed and Germany’s immunity to climate disaster has been torn a little, despite the appearance of success. The holy see it as a message from God, the capitalists call it a time for harder intervention and more capable management, and time travellers say, as with every so-called year, this is the year of the bog.

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An image of a social distancing messaging sticker in the Berlin subway. The decal features 3 corgis in outline, indicating the appropriate distance.

Touch As In

During a time that transmuted touch into a mere theoretical, that differentially and differently affected the people around me, I felt an impulse to gather together—an attempt at a grand, unified theory of the sensory, particularly of touch.

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An image of 5 stylized flames on a red glitter background. The flames are next to one another in the middle of the frame, and are in a left to right gradient from black to light blue.

Five Stages of Heat

While the five stages of grief can be a useful tool for understanding your emotions after loss, the five stages of heat is a useful companion BEFORE making a big change, because it can help you understand why you feel equal parts hot and bothered.

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Photo collage by Bard. It consists of three images, each with a bright blue frame. Two of them are selfies, one of his body in shorts and t-shirt lying on a bed, and one of his face also lying on a bed. The third image is a comic of a bear and a man kissing.

Hot or Not? 2

I’m 33 but my face is 2 years old. No, I haven’t had a face-swap surgery like in that Nic Cage movie. I’m just a trans guy enjoying the magical touch of Testosterone.

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Screenshot of babygrow/onesie designs.

How to Boil an Egg

With long talons on feet and fingers and scruffy thick hair, we move slowly. Fluidly, awkwardly, heavily. We survive a heatwave, extremities doubling and then tripling in size, itching and prickling, I run them under cool water for relief.

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An image of Megan Fox from Jennifer's Body projected on a white curtain, with flames across the bottom of the screen and "come home, steamy love" in yellow text across the bottom.

Fiery Swallowed Rage

I’m laying down in a fetal position, knocked out by pain. Saliva drips from my mouth and I’m on the verge of passing out. I’ve taken a mix of random painkillers and they’re finally hitting. The pain stops; I have a mini orgasm.

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A diptych of two images of plants coming through concrete. On the left side, a purple pansy comes up through a crack in a cement sidewalk, pictured from the side, with the sidewalk edge at a diagonal across the screen with street asphalt visible in front. On the right, A small treelike plant comes up through a hole in a concrete sidewalk, next to a metal grille gate surrounding an enclosed area and some garbage cans. The edge of the sidewalk and the edge of the gate from the first and second images meet at a point in the middle of the composition.

Normality

During the Corona time, I have been hearing the word “Normalität” almost daily in the news: the eagerness to return to “normality.” The following poem is a small glimpse of my normality.

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