• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05

24 fps

to bask under motion picture,
the light of dreams,
crawling for another beam of sun
on a winter afternoon,
on an oak floor.
the images move before her:
twenty-four frames a second
cut to black—still, twenty-four.
though the screen is still, the projector
still rolls
how a hummingbird
stands still,
yet beats its wings
twenty-four times,
a second.

suppose it brings the lady back
to her life before she graced the silver screen:
now, it's seven in the morning
& it smells of
dew, honey, nectar,
while something—an insect?—hums
in the blunt air.
no, it's not an insect,
but a hummingbird,
slicing through the breeze,
cutting into focus.


24 fps

the lady (then, but a girl)
lies still, on the overnight spread
of grass, watching
the shimmering, hovering thing
drink out of sage,
bee balm,
bleeding hearts.

then, like her,
the bird’s still: humming,
she blinks.
it’s gone.

twenty-four beats a second,
her heart beat
to her own face,
projected before her
& a hundred strangers.
her face stands still,
she sits still,
she’s covered in dark,
she blinks,
the credits roll—