at shibuya crossing

lae astra

a single drop in the sea of thousands  

who walk across at once, i’ve passed  

through countless times. it’s easy  

to just look down at my phone,  

let my feet carry me, it's automatic.* 

still, what i like is to take in the view  

of this busiest crossing in the world 

as sunset pulses down silver blue towers  

to the beat of jpop filling the streets, 

and i especially like that breathless  

moment right before the traffic lights  

flick go, all electric anticipation, neon  

momentum pinballing between pedestrians  

who will take care not to bump into anyone  

when we walk forward holding onto our 

stories that glint for a fleeting moment  

with unfamiliar beauty as we confidently 

pass by each other without looking. 

*note - the phrase “it’s automatic” can be read to the tune of the jpop song Automatic by Utada Hikaru, released in 1999

lae astra is an artist who calls Tokyo home. Find them at