Where is the heart of Europe?

Where is the heart of Europe?

Where is the heart of Europe?
Where, in the midst of this mess,
Between which mountains and rivers,
Is there hope for the helpless?
Where is the lair in this labyrinth,
Through whose halls have trod so many feet?
Where is the heart of Europe –
In the chest of which beast does it beat?

Is it buried in clay or basalt?
Encased in shale or shit?
Is it petrified in a peat bog,
Or is it – as yet – fighting fit?
Meandering lines in an atlas:
A compass that points towards
The something that orders these borders?
Or just the clash of nationalist hordes?

Where is the muscle of Europe
That fills all these antique veins?
What blood-type surges through the valves
Of our sewers when it rains?
And what shade stains the hands of the victors
Of each sickly civil war?
When defibrillation delivers,
Does the drum sound the same as before?

Is it locked in a latent location;
Securely squirreled away
In the Berlaymont in Brussels,
Or in The Hague at the ICJ?
Is it kept in the Vatican City
By a Switzer in a black beret?
Or locked in a bloody dungeon
Beneath Machecoul or Champtocé?

What is the crux of this question?
“Where is the middle of the map?”
What is this concept we covet?
Does it hop in my own left pap?
Did it surge through the last King of Prussia
Or Napoleon Bonaparte?
Was it spilled in the Führerbunker?
Or was that just the end of the start?

Does it beat for asylum seekers,
Stowed among fleeting freight?
Are there enough white blood cells
For the influx infused to its weight?
Is it just for those of fair pigment
To blush from its bountiful flow?
Must it sicken and slow to a standstill
If it’s ever allowed to grow?

Well, where is the heart of this Europe?
Where is the X-marks-the-spot?
Where is the very first footprint
That our bastard ancestors begot?
What is the sacred equation
That marries Norwegians to Greeks?
That binds all the burdensome bourgeois
To the serfs and the blue-blooded freaks?

Did it set sail with Christ for the New World
Or hunker with us in the past?
Was it the first of its kind to evolve?
And will it be the last?
Do we gouge into it when we plough the earth?
Does its blood drain the plains to the sea?
Is it pure? Is it impossible?
Is it in you? Is it in me?

Appears in:
Rhymes for all times [2015]


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