by James Siegel

It scares me to death —
the Skyline Drive-in
lurking in the woods
of New Lexington
off State Route 13
like an old hermit
confused by a world
that left him behind.

So little remains.
Every car speaker
ripped out of the ground,
replaced with wild ferns,
patches of crab grass.
The old ticket booths
nowhere to be found.
And the access road
backed up with traffic
on Saturday nights
is now a dirt path,
a place for the trees
to sag their branches,
to lighten their loads.

But do not tell me
that Skyline is dead.
The concession stand
has somehow survived
despite the windows
broken and shattered,
the candy cases
covered in cobwebs.
Look at the menu
still fixed to the wall —
Pepsi a quarter,
cigarettes a buck.
Then look to the east
where the screen still towers,
begs for attention,
arms stretched to embrace
the vast vacancy,
weather worn and torn
from wind and rain and
years of forgetting.

It makes me shiver
when the moon projects
on that monster screen
a double feature
starring the shadows
of stray cats strutting,
night birds gliding by
to search the forest
for something to hunt,
something soft to kill.

If you don’t believe
take a long deep breath
on a cloudless night
when the wind’s just right
and you’ll smell popcorn
buttered and burning,
and the fumes from cars
idling their engines.

James Siegel lives in San Francisco, but is originally from Ohio. He is the director for GuyWriters, a San Francisco-based organization that was developed to celebrate the literary work of gay men in the San Francisco Bay Area. GuyWriters also holds quarterly events where prominent guest readers and up-and-coming artists share their work. His poems have appeared in the anthology Diving Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses, as well as the literary journals The Fourth River, Toledo Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Blueline, Paper Street, and The Broken Plate.

Back to Issue 004: Jenny Magazine

Last Piece: “Identifying with Licking County”

Next Piece: “The Other Side”

Comments are closed.