The Theatre

I lost nothing.
It was all stored away.

This moment.

And I didn’t have a photo album.

I owned a building where we put on plays.

We struggled.
It was hard on us and on our families.
But we kept on going.

In the summertime the doors were wide open.
The lights sparkled on the water.

In the winter we went from place to place,
stopping often.
We made friends,
some who insisted we stay on.

When summer came, however,
there was always that moment.

It was opening the doors.
It was turning the lights on.

It was a smell.
It was a wave of memories
as solid as the people who had warmed the air
with their conversation and their laughter,

with their electrifying attention to every detail
of what was going on on stage
while they waited in the dark.

It was ghosts and it was the building itself.
It breathed out a sigh.

In the workshop every jar of screws or nails,
every box of power cables, every shelf,
whether it held lightbulbs or boards of wood,

everything that we had kept whispered to us
when we came back to it, home.
Nothing was lost.