When There Were Ghosts
On the Mexico side in the 1950s and 60s,
There were movie houses everywhere
And for the longest time people could smoke As
they pleased in the comfort of the theaters.
The smoke rose and the movie told itself
On the screen and in the air both,
The projection caught a little
In the wavering mist of the cigarettes.
In this way, every story was two stories
And every character lived near its ghost.
Looking up we knew what would happen
next Before it did, as if it the movie were
dreaming Itself, and we were part of it,
part of the plot Itself, and not just the audience.
And in that dream the actors' faces
bent A little, hard to make out exactly in the smoke,
So that María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz
Looked a little like my aunt and one of my uncles—
And so they were, and so were we all in the movies,
Which is how I remember it: Popcorn in hand,
Smoke in the air, gum on the floor—
Those Saturday nights,
we ourselves Were the story and
the stuff and the stars.
We ourselves were alive in the dance of the dream.
Alberto Ríos's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (When There Were Ghosts by Alberto Ríos )
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Footsteps of Angels, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)