Dusk Til Dawn
You imagine the moon filling a bedroom window
as the towering screen of a drive-in movie theatre
high above a winter field strewn with melt-water.
Soon cars prowl past the ticket booth’s closed sign.
An unlighted snack bar hunched in snow and rain
gathers a crowd. The moth-stutter of faint images
flicker from a projector filled with stopped clocks.
Someone has already begun to lay aside his clothes
in a borrowed car. Someone’s white bare shoulder
is sending a boy’s desire up in flames, burning him.
Someone feels branded by delight. Even on a night
as cold, as ordinary as this evening, somewhere it is
the summer of 1985 and Back to the Future is playing.
Somewhere people stagger in-between rows of cars,
drinking beer, laughing heartily, suspecting nobody
will ever grow old, or expire, or be forgotten again.
Many are wrong for it is already tomorrow’s music
leaking out of FM radios, speaker poles like crosses
marking the graves of teens who came before them,
until someone finds himself locked out of some car,
twenty years older, and an adolescent girl, with skin
more white than the moon’s pale winter, long dead
from a car crash. What happened two decades ago.
Someone wishes he could go back to another time
to loiter under a different moon, in another century,
but already there is a fight in the parking lot. Already
police are gathering at the entrance waiting for dawn
to come, for people to finally get tired and go home,
while someone drunk yells come on!, holds up his fists
unaware the invisible projectionist who is smoking
absentmindedly, dusting ashes off one last cigarette,
stares out his little window knowing how it all ends.
By Chris Banks