Once a month, Saturdays were doled out
in dimes: at the barber’s, candy store,
and eight blocks to the palace for the Matinée,
bronze sconces, ice-cube chandeliers –
fixtures against a true-to-life newsreel,
stuck between cartoon and feature presentation.
Royalty was cheap: silk-pantalooned
usherettes selling peanuts, suddenly exotic
where giant urns brimmed with Arab sand,
Moorish hangings stretched to the ceiling,
light-shades scalloped from the sea –
the world larger than made out to be.
We cracked open Toffee bars on the
armrest, a Macintosh drum-roll, greasy hands
prying apart the curtain while the organ
wheezed through its last verse, raised