We watch the old movie on an old TV sitting on an old couch
with a curtain pegged sideways over the french doors
In the film a man is stripped of himself and so dies.
Or his luck turns and he lives in a gemutlich heaven on earth.
There is an option.
A studio in Germany between the wars got up into a sliver of city.
The business of the world is condensed and flickers with a rage, slowed to squeeze the cruel second fully.
Suddenly the french door is quickly, quietly opened.
A gust of wind?
But then the curtain is moved by a small force.
A dextrous animal?
From behind the curtain, out of a late summer night
a child appears, so out of his expected place he stops dead, his face a mask.
This sudden beauty makes me smile and say hello.
The child as silent and remote as any film, only sees our very strangeness
and vanishes to those who guard him.
On screen, neighbourhood urchins torment in play.
They would be ancient now if they had survived.
We glance at one another, the apparition still with us and the loss of another between us