the credits fly up
with a last mcdonald’s meal,
a suitcase that you carried for me;
two slim boarding passes with
two different endings.

but when the music stops
& the screen goes dark,
when they come to sweep
the memory-debris off
the cinema seats, i wonder –

do you still watch those old movies?
do you still stay awake, fighting off sleep?
do you still take blurry pictures
of crystal scenes?

the cinema lies empty
but i never got the nerve
to leave. the past recurs
like the men play jazz
everyday in our city – quick & warm &
lonely. the rhythm always
as if missing half the dialogue
in a script lost to the seas.

& i’m left wandering,
what happened to the plot –
do you wonder
what you came to mean to me?
do you remember
the city lights awash
with rain & mist, so ephemeral
i couldn’t even see?
do i ever emerge
on your faraway screen?

the credits fly up
images burnt, buried –
an obituary to the past
inside rolling reels
left to moths of distance, dust
& the mind’s rudest critics.

the cinema is locked
but i’m still inside, sifting
through the pictures, finally
able to see
our ghosts side-by-side on the screen.

the past plays
slow & cool & lovely.
think i’ll keep this seat
warm forever, your memory
of me unable, stubborn
confetti, to be
swept away to reality

where movies always end & life
spills soda on my dreams.



*Inspired by the song Movie by Tom Misch

Image from New York Times Magazine’s Love City issue, “24 Kisses Around New York in 24 Hours”, June 2018


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