Tides rise as I sleep.
I wake up to
a desert mouth and
the sound of drilling.
Panic shooting up spine.
The scaffolding holding
the building together
usually blocks out
the feeble Berlin,
February sun.
But a ray reaches
my forehead today.
The warmth says:
Keep it together.
The same words
etched on my tongue.
When you say:
It’s a constant battle
against the landlord.
The sky has been
the colour of concrete
for six months.
I listen for the sound of Spanish
rising through the hole
in the floorboards.
Our neighbour below
has not yet been evicted.
I have forgotten what
It is like to feel safe.
Every morning
I feel the walls vibrate
and I breathe in
the dancing mould.
The only thing holding
us intact
is the ethereal thread
between our pasty bodies.



Nisha Bhakoo is a British poet, living in Berlin. She has had two poetry collections published You found a beating heart (The Onslaught Press, 2016) and Black & White Dream (Broken Sleep Books, 2018). She edited Contemporary Gothic Verse for The Emma Press in 2019. She is currently a British and American Literature PhD candidate at Humboldt University, Berlin.