A Tiger Face

8mm film, burnt orange sun, the warm summer.

               She is there on the screen, young and fierce.

               She smiles, and makes a playful snarl, a tiger face.


               The rock high above the river, red bikini, she jumps in.

               The film is silent. I can’t remember her battle cry laughter.

               A splash in the washed out blue. She looks up and waves.


               Her sunning herself on the rock, beach towel, little radio.

               I know the song we loved was planning. It’s only a relic now.

               She blows a kiss. She laughs. She poses haughty, like an angel.


               The film is over. The projector spools out and goes dark.

               I walk up the stairs to rejoin the waking world, to her,

               A woman, a wife, who was not the young woman I was watching.


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