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2 Poems by Mark J. Mitchell


He doubts shadows—his own, yours—Hers, of course,

thrown under the last light on this slow street.

Still, he’ll follow, or walk slowly, while your

eyes scan sidewalks, listen for her feet

and his. She thinks she still smokes, loots her purse

for long lost lighters. His small, sharp retreat

casts doubt on your shadows, her changing course,

curving but fast. A light car growls the street

ahead. You watch her turn while he stops short

under a circle of fading light. Streets

go black to gray. Sharp angles fail to meet

your eyes. He won’t look at your report.

He’ll doubt your shadow. And her heart, of course.


He seeks maps of missing letters. He knows

they’re inside clocks in long-closed theaters,

dusty as black and white movies. They are

ignored guardians, so lost runes stay safe.

Unmoving hands stopped when the final show

ended. Silver light got swallowed by drapes.

The box office is empty. One red stub

pokes from the ticket slot. If he could reach

through glass, he might enter. Across sun-bleached

carpet—he knew where they hid the key. Stale

popcorn protects it. Then he’d softly rub

the timepiece. Letters would come out of jail.


Mark J. Mitchell’s most recent collection is Something to Be from Pski’s Porch. A historical novel will be out soon. He’s fond of baseball, Miles Davis and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist, Joan Juster where he makes his living pointing out pretty things. Check out He sometimes tweets @Mark J Mitchell_Writer


Silver Screen Life by Unlike Pluto


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