At the end of my shift, I tear off my tie and loose my collar;
shopkeepers shuffle raiments for the evening crowds.
Pachinko parlours swallow businessmen,
decking the dusk with glitz-
offering absent-mindedness in lights.
Nine white birds glide on the wash of the Motoyasu,
and a bevy of cyclists float around a bend.
That old hulk of brick and metal snares the tourists.
And the flame of peace still burns,
a monument built to honour a contradiction.
a beacon of shame for a century in absentia.
The City forgets in the warm glow of Remembrance;
sagas itself in the passive voice,
exhumes no bones, but only stories.
Elsewhere, the night is a deepening pool of neon,
no sane man could swim in long and not in love.
A streetcar streaks past.
On anonymous sidestreets, restaurants rise from slumber.
‘Fire up the griddles! We must eat’
The city ablaze with a million pangs of hunger.
Out west, the lights are no longer soluble
But fall like threads into the thickening water.
The heartland ends here,
tailing off into institutes and schools and clinics.
A bruising bouquet of clouds, and surprising silence.