This poem was inspired by my visit to the city of Harbin in China.
Door’s locked so we climb out through the window
The night breathes in our faces, reeking of traffic fumes
The sky is light though it’s long past midnight
We are deafened by car horns and dubstep and voices
A thousand nameless voices, belonging to the city
Tramps play checkers on a street corner
A woman sells lacy bloomers for a living
The rich loiter in their upper-storey apartments
All swallowed up by the pulsing lights
And the traffic, the buzz, the intoxication
Of dangling over the balcony with the wind in our hair
From the air-con sputtering behind us
And it’s a beautiful, ugly concrete jungle
And it makes us feel alive.