Building a City with No Heart
He dreams of architecture: brutalist
streets designed for efficient
movement of waves of people, funnelled
through insomniac streets of narrow culture.
He needs to find a way to represent it
in a stream of fluid machine code
stripped back to green on a black screen.
But how to make it look like a city
that never sleeps? Ones and zeros
trickle like rivers but have no visual depth.
He shuffles to the kitchen, assembles
udon noodles, wakame seaweed, bonito flakes.
Picks up his wife’s recipe book
to check an amount. The text swims,
comes into focus. He cooks, eats, sees
the book on the counter when he clears dishes.
Tired eyes turn the kanji green. It flickers.
He slips the book into his messenger bag.
Where love is frowned on, food will do.