It is September again
and I am too much
body for one
small frame so
I decide
I come back
I learn how to
spool film for you
every Monday night
I listen to the sound
of 35mm rolling
frame by frame

I see your face
in 24 frames per second and
I learn how to listen for you
how to look for you
time slows for you and
your face is preserved
I see your face on
a roll of film
in more frames
than I can count

Film unspools from
a reel in front of me
and travels northward
I am too much
heart for one
I trace the film
I trace my steps
like a map
like my finger
tracing a map
from Wilmington to
in September
leaves changing
me changing
film unspooling and
orange tinting
azaleas warm
black oak trees warm
everything warm

every frame

McKinley Keener is a senior at Guilford College. She watches just enough Netflix to be a college student and writes about it just enough to be considered an English major concentrating in film. Her work has appeared in Juked, Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere.

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