Your thumb’s the projector. It’s the motor
and mirror, lamp and lens. Down
the drawn frames it slides, pages purring.
Between the parted curtains of your hands
the silent movie plays out: stickman lifts
his stickarms, stickgun fires its stickbullet.
O, it’s always a snuff film, always a slaying
in pencil, the way this silver man collapses,
knees bending like paperclips. Round
head to the ground, body stretched to a line—
it’s easy to mistake him now for a lollipop.
The final page flips, again the first page
sits at the top, and you return to whatever
it is you do, the day calendar on your desk
shedding its days, the horizon juggling
the sun and moon, back and forth, the sun
and moon. How quickly the seven leaves
of the week fall to the earth. How boney
the twig they once held. Come midnight,
you won’t see today flipping to tomorrow.
Only the crosshatched shadows of the night
the sun will spend all morning erasing.
David Hernandez’s poetry collections include Always Danger (Southern Illinois University Press, 2006), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, and A House Waiting for Music (Tupelo Press, 2003). His poems have appeared in FIELD, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and The Southern Review. (2/2008)