Sepia photographs, swirling
helix on a barber’s pole;

black and white movies shown
in theatres with red plush-

backed chairs— It’s a time
when someone has to go behind

the stage to pull on the curtain
cord. There is one usher wearing

a small flashlight on a string
around his neck. He shuffles

from row to row, shining a light
that you can follow to the empty

seats in the middle. Why would there
be any reason not to trust the faint

yellow beam, wavering awhile before
clicking off, even if you have to sit

in darkness waiting for the faltering
projector to find itself again?

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