By Ally Malinenko
There are all kinds of drawers
in the Deutschland Democratic Republic museum,
things you can pull out
a mock up kitchen
a pair of soviet jeans
created to counter the levis
much like the Trabi
with it’s sad two stroke engine
was created to counter the Beetle
telling East Berliners
you don’t need what the west has
because we have our own.
People waited 16 years for a car made of plastic.
There are journals in there too, about how
all the people in East Berlin had money
but nothing to buy,
nowhere to go
except where they were told.
They had nude beaches,
a small thumbed nose to the communists.
I love the DDR museum
because much like a plastic car
it feels as though this couldn’t be real life
How could an entire city be divided up
like so much cake?
How could a wall be built that would cut through
cemeteries, and apartment buildings and lives?
How? I ask smiling, fascinated
because none of it seems real
But then, there she is,
leaning out her apartment window,
trying to leap to the other side,
before the wall is finished,
missing the net
on the pavement
so she would never know
how much worse her life was going to get.
Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collections The Wanting Bone and How To Be An American (Six Gallery Press). She is also the author of the novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books) and the forthcoming poetry
collection Better Luck Next Year (Low Ghost Press). She lives in Brooklyn and tweets at @allymalinenko mostly about Doctor Who.