Star Wars and Everything After
My son will never see Star Wars,
or at least the movie I saw
in the latchkey summer of ’77,
the taste of popcorn and RC Cola
still lingering after all these years.
Returning to the cool darkness
of a theater long since shuttered,
I can still feel the orchestra erupt
in a rush of Dolby Surround Sound,
shaking my boyish chest as sights
and sounds of fantastical worlds
were born in flickering light.
From ancient wooden chairs we peered,
my wide-eyed companions and I,
at heroes and villains and then
nothing in between how things were
and how they would now forever be.
But like my mother before me
with the King and his swiveled hips
hidden from horizontal holds,
or grandma’s delight when the girl
stepped from sepia hues
into the emerald city,
the boy will discover moments
of his own from the thick curtains
of childhood and someday share tales
from a time as magical as mine.
The Last of the Drive-In Movie Theaters
To gather where summer fades
into the bleached grainy bliss
of B-movie billboards and
setting suns cast long across
the dash of our parents' cars,
this is what it's like to live
in the irrecoverable past.
We fish its remains from
well-crafted yarns of the way
things were in sepia-soaked
and pretentious perfection.
But we'll not reminisce of
tin-box squawks rattling windows
half-drawn, dialogue lost to
the low-tech limits of audio science.
And we won't recall wind-swept
August nights and their chill bite,
harbingers of seasons just
beyond golden horizons.
And we'll never remember
plot twists and scenes from
movies we really didn't
see through softly fogged windshields.
Instead, we revel in our
misremembering and eschew
the lumberyard that rose
from the drive-in theater ruins,
lamenting strange currencies
as we assure ourselves that
once we were better, and we
were better because we were young.