Split Screening

Silent home movie, 1963

Silvered celluloid

uncoils like fishing line –

a flattened monofilament

of unedited bygones.

Retinal memory

integrates stills

to the illusion of smooth

analogue motion.

A cone of light

strikes the bare wall

of a darkened room.

Sprockets click and

disengage. Smoke curls

in eddies of memory as if

trying to retrieve lost words

or recall their meaning.

In three minutes

the reel runs out:

dots polka, then blend

to blinding white

while pupils adapt.

There are no credits,

only blame for Dad’s focus

and lack of direction.