City Sketches

Poem by Atom Cheung
— Radio presenter.
Illustration by Miloza Ma


city sketches

The inside of a gigantic beast. Without realizing, we pass through its extensive systemwith escalators that never end. We cannot see the beast.We’re inside it, no teeth marks on our bodies, no signs of parts bitten off.‘We’re very much intact,’we say to each other, thinking we’re quite normal.

Bright noodle shop; yellow ski jacket, long black stockings, womanand man pass each other by.Spotlights on the menu, almost midnight; a couple pays for desserts, leaving bowls for old motherto collect. Barricade half-way down, lights switching off at the sushi joint; middle-aged folks saunter slowly across. A young woman, a shoulder bag dangling off her elbow, has her arm clinging to what is a boyfriend. Tall sporty zip-up boys stand outside the shop as bright lights set ablaze angular arrogant juvenile features. Garbage bags of the day’s leftovers, and that black puffy jacket of a man blowing smoke toward the window of a parked white Mercedes.

wheels on the bus, paddles on the boat, feet beneath our bodies.

We are happening.

moving from place to place, from here to there safely in the given infrastructure.And it doesn’t matter if the skies are gray or the roads are dusty or the music in the store is stupefying the mind that prides in being unique. At least we are happening. Thoughit may not seem like we’re moving toward anywhere, at least we’re bobbling,together, in this wide wide ocean.

knowing this makes me happy.

sometimes I pull back to watch the city happening around me and I feel like something about me is about to happen too.

the particles are having a huddle inside, and it’s time I close the day, retire to my room, and give them a listen, as to what they have to say.