Nearly midnight; silent behind the glass barrier between
me and the world below, I watch the lava flow dwindle
to swift-moving sparks, limning parallel river drives
heading south, tunnel-swallowed where they meet.
Illuminated webs spread erratically between, moving
at the whims of amber and green. Spastic jolts and halts,
anticipatory edging across painted grid lines. Revolving
jewels top black and whites in a race across town.
A trio of garlanded bridges spans the eastern river,
motionless but for a lone bus speeding across. Beyond
a building spire, rising from an isolated speck of island
in the harbor, a beam-lit statue holds a glowing torch.
Rooftops black as pits. Lights appear, then die
as cleaners move from floor to floor, office
to office. Reflected light in facing windows,
from my aerie - too far away to see myself.
An aircraft passes, invisible but for its wing-lights
against the matte-black sky. Imagined engine roar
reaches my ear, as does the police car's wail,
an ambulance's siren. Only a fluorescent's hum.
The city eases into the early hours, barely slowing
to recoup its energy. As if in respect for those asleep,
or dying. Stars hide, unable to compete with the glare
of neon. Midnight; I leave to stroll the empty streets.
By Allen McGillQLRS Vol. 4 No. 1 Oct 2004