Saturday Poem

The Silver Screen Asks, “What’s Up Danger?” After We Enter

a lobby shaped like a yawn, lined with lodestone
leftover from making the marquee. The congress

of picture shows and pulp flicks it seems
named this movie house, the Senator.

Or maybe the city loves to signify. I guess
it matters little to a mill worker,

stevedore, or teamster how the name
came to be. My son and daughter

who will never walk home covered in soot,
longing for a moment in the mud room

to be responsible for nothing
but removing a coat, unlacing a boot,

my children slide like two slightly rusted magnets
toward the aluminum rail posts guarding

the popcorn counter. All the candy encased
in glass like masks in a museum. They’ve forgotten

our talk in the parking lot about Miles Morales,
about his animated face being so near to us

even without 3D, that this afro-latino Spider-man
could be our cousin, in a more marvelous universe.

But when they sit in the Senator’s un-stadiumed
seats, with the ghosts of reel-to-reel clicking

their tongues, what I see on my children’s faces
is not a season of phantasmal peace, but what’s left

when the world’s terrors retreat. Their whole brown
skin illuminated, like a trailer for another life.

by Steven Leyva
Split This Rock