Under the captive white dwarf, our city petered out
like a sick machine dismantled on the plateau, its
heartbeat the rhythm of corrupted data. Towers grew
glass coral, their panes refracting a thousand cracked
realities across the highways laid in broken circuitry.
I walked through this dreamscape, where abandoned
temples had fallen to ruin like ancient shopping malls.
In the husk of a Starbucks I found a congregation of
survivors, their faces hard as life masks. They moved
in silent unison, an eerie flash-mob ballet, eyes fixed
on a glitching screen forever looping obsolete American
commercials from an art show for the elderly. Erectile
dysfunction. Vaginal incontinence. Walmart euthanasia.
No, I am not an Ottoman automaton, the television said.