Adam King, “Matinee”

orange line


In the art theater we wait for images
to take us away from ourselves.
A seat between us says,
Stranger, we are not together.
The pews we have rented—
bought for feeling
apart from the man in the street
with none, woman on the bus
wearing a plastic bag.

An audience seeks fear, brutality, joy
not its own.
The projector throwing light
on what is most human—
trouble, out of its fist.
Projector, make us real to ourselves!
Change us, give us eyes,
help us bear the double fact:
We are more dead than we know.
We are each a live thing
waiting in the dark.


Adam King lives in Albuquerque, NM, and holds an MA in counseling. His poems have been published in Blue Mesa Review, St. Elizabeth Street, Seattle Review, and The Tongue. He is currently working on a screenplay based on the life of H.D.


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