Intricate ceiling patterns
of darkened clay,
abandoned proud structures
that once housed
gleaming crowds, 
society's luminaries,
stages now abandoned
like great, scuttled liners. 

The enormity
of those not present
lingers, still;
proud chandeliers
in their fifty-foot sky
dark constellations,
the ninety-year trail from Vaudeville
to picture shows' obsolescence
measured by threadbare
row upon row of silent seats. 

The lounges still whisper
of their elegant specters,
shadow-veined marble,
tours of this century's visitors
inhale the tingling dust
of past grandeur. 

A silent stage broods
under darkened ornaments,
tattered curtain forever closed,
an unseen backdrop 
still holding the echoes of dancers, 
hats and canes tipped
to the long-gone crowd.
The massive past
shrouds its own time here, 
we, visiting ghosts,
gliding along the ancient carpet
in silence. 

Extending my hand
to my love, she takes it,
a timeless gesture
recognizable by those here before, 
as we leave
living warmth fading again
from the silent banisters.

 Jon Bohrn (2003)

Theater stage
Los Angeles - Orpheum Theater stage


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