They’re shooting a movie outside our window,
where Twenty-Fourth ducks under Walnut Street:
a crowd of people standing about, but just two actors—
one a woman who looks like you.
The other, a man, waits in the shadows; on cue,
he enters and sits on a bench in front of a mural,
his posture slumped, elbows on knees, holding
his head in his hands for the count of three.
The director is never satisfied: again and again,
he calls for another take. The actor walks
out of frame and waits while they reset the lights
so the shot will look a little darker each time.
The woman waits off-set on the left with a dog.
Again and again, the director cuts before
their cue for whatever they’re there to do.
This is the scene that never ends, the one we rehearse
and rehearse. Sometimes the roles will be reversed,
and the man will wait while the woman sits and slumps.
Sometimes the lights will fail. Sometimes the dog will be
a cat. Or a child. Sometimes there’ll be no script.