The desert moves like a slow sea,
grain by grain. Instead of unshifting,
abstract, eternal, it ripples
and rolls. Flattened by perspective,
there is not much to latch onto
in the expanse on your console
until an outcrop of blocky
buildings in three-quarters profile
slides from one side of the screen to
the other. Flight data updates
in the bottom right-hand corner.
Coming in low over fields
of light, the horizon tilts left,
right. You’ve spotted the convoy of
cars on the band of the highway.
For one unbreathable moment
hearts beat in your crosshairs. The cars
explode. Expanding compound clouds
swab the hole, turn human lives to
pixels. On the other side of
the planet, the offline desert’s
a sea in slow motion with peaks
and troughs, sunken wrecks, sudden storms.
illustration Nick Victor