Can you smell it?
The smell of dirtiness and misery;
The lack of dignity on this train?
Can you hear it?
The noise of loneliness and poverty;
The cracking ice and the pouring rain?
I can smell it.
I can hear it.
In every train.
The 5% unemployment rate of my dear adopted homeland,
The first European power, Deutschland.
In Europe, the most numerous population.
And the lowest-birth-rate nation.
Can you see it?
Those men sleeping on every possible surface.
From the benches in the park,
To the seats in the transports,
Alone in the dark.
Can you witness it?
Your equals in despair.
The same eyes as yours,
The same heart as yours,
I can see it.
I can witness it.
I face it every day.
On every street.
Neighbours, have you met Berlin’s darkest facet?
Beyond the startups and innovation assets?
Beside the techno club,
Left out of the Migration Hub.
Fellow Europeans, do you know the price to pay for the numbers?
For the pride of the economic wonder?
Those left to fear and hunger,
Holding on to the idea of something better.
Do you want to see it?
Of course not.
No one wants to.
No one wants to face failure.
And you know what?
Neither do I.
No one wants to admit the gap.
The social and economic trap
Of a model we praised unconditionally.
Of a raw, faceless, and dehumanized capitalism,
The one that chose progress over equality.
The one that promised some liberty.
But took away from others dignity.
The “least worst” option,
Whose side effects need our action.
Don’t take for granted everything you’ve been given.
Start with a smile, a croissant or the popcorn you’ve ordered double and eaten half.
You’ll be surprised by
the love that will rise.
And then, question.
Is this really it?
1 % of the people, eating more than half the cake,
Is this really the liberty we’ve been fighting for?
The abundance, the race for success,
The “always more”.
Doubt is not bad.
At least not as bad as an old man, in the tram,
Asleep on an IKEA bag.