[37] The Movie Theater, Jeremy Szuder

It appears that they have
closed down the local Movie Theater
and put a grim reaper
in the ticket booth.

There is a chain
on the inside of the doors.
The last lucky movie poster
that ushered out the ending

of these screens still
hangs, dog eared in the lobby.
All of the mercury vapor
has leaked slowly from

the neon light bulb marquee.
That is it, all that she wrote.
And every kiss and every
disappointment, every jolting

act of youth that coursed
through arteries now reroutes
out and into that ticket booth.
Those robbed reaper bones

are the moments that had failed
to grab a special someone,
to draw them in close
and whisper the words we had

quietly spent all evening
trying to conjure up in
the backs of our heads,
the frightening nervous moments

we all lost to time and decay.
A figure just standing there,
in that tiny crimson curtained room.
All of the tickets are gone.

Moths and dust move in to
take over this real estate.
Little children ride their bikes
on the opposite side of the street,

too scared to make eye contact
with that figure of yesterday’s youth.
Black robes drape over a time
when we were children ourselves,

running on our own reserves,
desperate, wild-eyed and trying
with every second of self-reflection
to not give up the experience,

the childhoods wrestling against
a death in cahoots with time,
like a strip of film slowly crumbling
against the rays of harmful sunshine.

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