death watch

The abandoned Palace Theater in Gary, Indiana closed in the 1970s and has stood vacant ever since.

Bijou…in afternoon is amniotic hatchery
dried parsley and old women’s shoes…
then evening steeps it to bean soup
sour laundry soap and moldy windowsills

Bijou…where rats…twitch…scurry birth
each way over under through…attentive
to faint hiss of cockroach mouthing glue
beneath pale skin wallpaper peel

Bijou…where brown bats sweep through
broken panes…strike insect flick…and smoke
white doves coo guttural on ledges…and night
shrinks wood to incremental creak

Bijou…copper stripped…stage rain warped,
house curtain velvet torn…all potent with decay
though I shall not gravely mourn for knowing
how previous gives way to new

and…I shall not be present for the wrecking
smash and crash, nor shall I recall its marquee
silhouette against an empty sky without seeing
as in dusty mirrors…my own exiting

 

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Joey B. Lax-Salinas

 

10 thoughts on “death watch

  1. Your imagery is so strong. It must have taken many re-writes to produce a work like this. Well worth it.
    The exiting at the end makes me think of all the times you must have spent in the Bijou, sitting with the rest of the audience. What memories you must have! Now most of us watch movies at home, sometimes alone.

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