On the Realization of Dreams, etc.
A floor littered with empty film canisters,
you and I tangled in acetate spools.
A projector hums, chokes, and bursts into flame
in the back of the locked room.
We’ve held each frame to the light
to bend time. “Put this one on,”
you pleaded. “Maybe it will work.
Maybe we can go back.”
But I wound it wrong,
to a time of slow drives
through suburbs after ultrasounds.
Giant snowflakes and hope, light as air,
falling to the ground.
You covered your eyes and I scrambled
for the next one, and that’s when I felt
the first bit of film, taut against my bicep.
I’m pulling now, frame by frame,
time speeds up, and a family sedan
races down the mountains
from the Coninental Divide to the Pacific.
Still shots now. One sits
under a palm tree,
another by a beige strip mall,
one’s ankles are in the ocean,
wondering now, about the movie
they walked out on.
The reel of
What it Would Have Been Like
and us, trapped in knots
of empty frames.