In the night’s restless quiet,
I slide through a drop-down menu
on my laptop’s glowing screen;
not quite like booking a flight,
I point and click my way around the globe.
I feel tomorrow’s afternoon heat in New Taipei City,
listening to the symphony of traffic
at a busy downtown intersection,
watching a fleet of motorbikes stream past,
each rider a flicker of existence,
ghosts in the machine.
I dig my toes into the cool sand
at the Soggy Dollar,
a beachfront bar closed for the night
somewhere in the British Virgin Islands,
the dead-in-the-water yachts keeping watch
like sentinels just off the shore,
enjoying the soothing rhythm of
small waves washing in at my feet,
echoes from the beginning.
I stand on an island in the controlled chaos
of Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing,
everyone waiting on the starter’s pistol
of the light change, then striding by in all directions,
trying to find the shortest distance
between here and there.
I bathe in the neon light of Times Square
as the crowd surges forward, unable to see
where they’re going above their smartphones,
spying a young man whose thumbs
tap furiously at the screen,
and I imagine him punching
“live city cams” into a search engine,
perhaps vaguely aware that,
somewhere in the far off suburban darkness,
someone he’ll never meet is sitting godlike,
peering at him through open windows in the sky,
looking down at this teeming mass
of joy and pain below.
Adam Gibbs is a writer and poet originally from Sidney, Ohio. His poetry has appeared in "Fourth and Sycamore" and been honored by the Hayner Cultural Center and Tipp City Arts Council. His novella Dumb Luck is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. He currently lives in Grove City, Ohio, with his wife Lindsay and their daughter Clara.