Naked |
by Wayne Burke

the lion roared into
the hearts of everyone
in the theater
and the movie began,
whatever it was,
Elvis, or The Three Stooges,
or, once, The Naked Prey
which scared me silly
Friday night
I had gone to meet
my new Junior High School buddy
who did not show
and I sat by myself
in the dark
as half-naked dancing girls
shimmied on the screen
in coming attractions
that did not attract
but terrified me
I felt an aura of evil,
of adult-somethingness
beyond my 7th grade
and then the movie
which featured the torture
and mutilation
of white men
who intruded into
darkest Africa,
and I got up and
went out to the concession
run by the theater-owner's kindly
only she was not as kindly-seeming
as on Saturday afternoons
she seemed Gypsy-like and strange
dressed all in black
and part
of the evil
I had stumbled into
and was in danger
of somehow
becoming a part of.

Wayne Burke's work has appeared in FORGE, miller's pond, and Northeast Corridor. He was poet-of-the-month in Bareback, 7-13.