At the Theater: A Dream of Stars
I settle in the theater, in a seat on the aisle,
with a clear view to the stage.
Then a woman claims the seat just in front
of me. Well, now I can’t see! She must be seven feet tall
with good posture. She is wider than a doorway,
her hair dense with leaping curls. The only thing
missing is the straw hat with a feather or flower.
Somehow, I know she is wearing wrist-length, white
gloves.And polka dots. She listens intently, never whispering
to her companion, who is, maybe, the little man shot
from the cannon in another show. I crane my neck,
first one side, then the other, glimpsing the movie
in fragments. She has every right to be who she is
and where she is, but why am I here, so blinded? Then
I know: we are in a cave, both staring at Plato’s flickering
fire, she the movable wall between me and the cool
illusory flame. We are shadow puppets at rest. She
is the band of silhouette circling the planetarium’s
domed screen. I have only to look up or down or
elsewhere— into the roiling heart of me?—
and peer through the dark lens of poetry.
Wishing you a day when new planets swim into your ken! Leslie
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