Some serve in a churchlike Athens Odeon, an act of observance
and Greek dubbing, others in Sao Paulo’s Una Banco pimping
ice cream while waiters tout margaritas, a Tangier picture
palace where the audience shouts look behind you! to the hero,
comfort refugees in a shell-pocked art house in Beirut, watch
contraband movies in an Art Deco theater amongst Havana
palms, fight off the manager of the Roxy in Taiwan.

They’ve heard the roar of light hit the screen, ping of a bra
strap from the back row, watched a lit match passed like
an Olympic flame across red velour seats, cigarette smoke
floating into bas-reliefs and chevrons; torch beams gliding
over carpets they are ciphers guiding us into the city,
its mansions, bedrooms and bars.

There’s one now, next to my aisle seat, raised knee flicking
off a shoe, leaning back on the curtained wall, unlit torch
idly hanging, the world at 24 frames a second in her eyes.