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Leslie Wolf         

Reel-to-Reel


Splash of white. End
Of Reel No. 1. Start Projector 2.
Headlights turn our ceiling into a cinema
Screen, stretch it wall-to-wall. Dreams evaporate
Like paragraphs on swiftly turning pages as we set an asterisk
Between us. Footnotes rub their warmth the length of our calves; a
Marginalia of familiar references. Out of slumber we slide together,
Adjust image-on-image; the screen swaying like an under-filled waterbed.
Somewhere in the Black Hills of South Dakota we stumble on a stone out-
Building with a chimney half-again as wide as the side-wall. Half-again as
Wide as the side-wall the chimney spreads its black silk and a cloud passes
And pauses like a cat caught on a highway between the high-beams of a car
And the film stretches at the end of the reel, slapping its chroma-color tail
Against the body of the Bell and Howell. Smoke thickens. Fade to the in-
Terior. A man in bed sweats like a blacksmith at the forge and turns his
Face toward the flames. I’m lying on top of you when the car stops to
Turn around in our drive; the interval brings our faces to the glass.
Did the driver skip reverse? Recognize the place? Sense that
We were awake inside? Did he pause to watch the smoke?
The tone of silence that we only seem to hear at night.
Gravel growls and pings under radials. A fan
Hisses to cool a projector bulb.

 

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