In the City of Steam

In the City of Steam the people of vapour just sigh.
Murders are silent and bloodless. Under moonlight
the city glows like a fungus; under sunlight it is unbearable
to gaze at. The best time to observe the almost indiscernible
is when the moon is thin and the stars are full.
It is considered discourteous to enter a house by walking
through a wall. Even though the doors waver and are constantly
moving, it is through the door that you should always enter.
Even though cars may pass through you and leave you unscathed
it is considered rude to cross the road against oncoming traffic.
On days of fierce tempests the city and its occupants may disappear
entirely. When they return, maybe weeks later, it is always best
not to let on that they were gone. The people of vapour just sigh.
Pretend at all times to be riveted by their conversation.
As insubstantial as it might be, it is all they have. And never,
under any circumstances whatsoever, breathe in as you kiss them.

—John W. Sexton