by Marilyn Peretti

Movies at the Old Glen Theater

Tiny yellow twinkles
light the carpet’s thin edge
of a night-black corridor,
narrow as a poor man’s staircase,
leading an unknown distance
and around a corner
to the holy cool dark
of the movie house,
split now into four.
Sink into lumpy, leathery seats
to lean back into oblivion of fiction,
pen-concocted tales
of someone else’s calamities,
lit up in magnified faces
jerking and bouncing
with every hand-honed sentence.
How tempting to lounge
in the cushion of film,
flying me up and away. Two hours
of laughs, doubts, and loving
swell in my small head
just long enough to rearrange
its moldering contents
and ignite a few sparks,
then catapult me out
through the vacuum tunnel
into eye-squeezing bright
to where I came from, contented
after all.

-Originally published in Prairie Light Review