Hazy, soft focus autumn, far in time, space.
A rickety projector, a white sheet, ghost on ghost.
Your bright face, Miss Young Spirit, a fleshly sun.
You are so happy and so free.
The festivities of the day, marching band and majorettes,
and a parade and all the people cheering you, loving you.
White satin dress and opera gloves, a bright white bouquet.
The other young woman throwing candy to laughing children.
My life has not been like the one I see of you. It’s been loss.
I wish they all came to cheer me and adore me, like they did you.
Was it all so bright and warm, in that long ago autumn you ruled?
Was there tears, a demon cheers couldn’t silence, when you got home?
I watch your picture taken, and the mayor kissing your cheek, beaming parents.
Was it the one moment you were given, the shard of Eden, the perfect day?
I hope there was more sweetness to come, and a magic in sacred, secret chambers.
The Lincoln limosine takes you home, and I cannot see anymore of you.
I let the projector run out, and turn it off, but the leave the sheet hanging,
and finish cleaning out the house that has been abandoned, the people gone,
and leave it fit to be torn down, for demons live in empty room unclaimed by living.
I take the film and projector, and a few more cans; I want to see your happy life.