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MUSED Literary Magazine.

Dark Theater

Bernadine Lortis

A dark theater is a laden boat, a cargo of humanity,
all heads and shoulders shifting, pitching/rocking
through the night, lines lean left and rows rift right
for those who, for their private reasons, choose to see the show.

Dim within the vessel, placed without regard to race or age,
relationships reveal themselves by spaces sealed or spaces spread
sanctioned here what must perhaps stay hidden in the light—
these darkened intervals of intimacy, amusement or escape.

To get a better view, I move behind two tiny crowns
tucked low in collared coats—years old, whitened, seeming deaf—
who search for sounds and worlds beyond their ears.
From my summit, crow’s nest-safe, with land in sight,

I wonder at the sea of seats, true prices paid
for different rides, allure for each who dare raise sail
with purpose custom-made until moored by glare
that blinds, all rise, in masse, and disembark to life.