a dutch flirtation: new places

A long walk in a night feeling close to midnight – only earlier whe the sun pulls over the covers at four-thirty. The young men I keep running into at the park, a frozen fountain I near dislocate my knee on. Predictably getting lost in the theatre district. The tulip museum. Next to the cheese museum. No matter where I am in the world I have a front-of-house face – asked for directions in a language I don't understand. The puppy mistaking me for its master walking in step with me for a block. The photos I have seen now reality from large carparks to markets closed by 6pm. Circular tram routes. Monuments covered in pigeon shit. Recognisable points of interest flipped in orientation become disorienting. Rows of Australian wine so far from home. All of de oude plekken. Houseboats wired in, never to leave harbour. Recognisable words and phrases. Surprised I know the words for keys and artist supplies. The moon covered in haze. Christmas trees awaiting collection, The closed bloemenmarkt. The woman about to ride away forgetting her phone. Hair falling in my mouth, missing that gentle reassurance from a friendly hand untucking it again. Forgetting my tram ticket. And amongst it all, the quality of air changes, promising the kiss of snow.

(January 6 2017, Amsterdam)