What goes on in Amsterdam – Laura Enright

I felt it first –
the day we wore waterproof boots in Amsterdam in August,
an unexpected storm did little to disturb us
I began to notice it then
the secret in this town that everyone, except me, knew about
Something that was hushed and passed around
under the blanket of moon
hidden away in a fiercely dark room of the Red Light
beneath maroon velvet curtains and leather-topped stools
or nestled beneath a bridge on the black canal past midnight.
I saw water dotted with blurred droplets, dark blue
the reflection of milky streetlights.
I pull the curtains in the mezzanine and the show begins
on the street below. I look out.
A curve of the lips
a gentle folding of the arms
a hand brushing against another
A secret never told
A city more alive than awake.

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