Empty Film Canister

My smiling face, my happy eyes

My blown away curls captured in time

Mirror images, different surroundings

I am sick of seeing just me


In Paris, in Rome

Model poses, film star

I was the whirlwind in your life

What you used to describe as

A breathe of Hollywood


You told me once that you were afraid

That we’d be touched by the

Infidelity of film stars

That one day you’d wake up to find me

Gone, and you

The man who was left behind


You told me once that you were

Married to Vivien Leigh

The belle of the South, the beautiful

Star that lit up your sky

I laughed, then stood up

And stomped my way out

Suddenly angry and flattered all at once

Because you got me down to two words

Beautiful and unstable


There was a time I believed

That you spoke of the truth

That I indeed was a blazing sun

Instead of a forgotten dying star

Surrounded by my replicas

Black and white, sepia, technicolour

Photos taken by an artist

Of a woman who was less than



Your darkroom a source of light

A beacon holding me still

The smell of the chemicals mixed

With the fading smell of your cologne

Stacks upon stacks of blank paper

Piles upon piles of boxes

Opened, closed, much loved

The only thing of yours

That will save me


We had the one wedding photo

And a dozen others of you and me

Your arms around mine instead

Of being poised high with your

Memory capturer


And the boxes, the files, those filled cabinets

Have nothing but useless me’s

And I wonder how you could look at me so

With that light in your eyes

And love on your lips


Why must you be the man

Behind the camera, taking useless

Memories of me, the one person

I do not want to remember right now

If ever?


It frightens me, my failing memory

I struggle to hold the outline

Of your face, your crow’s feet

Your Irish green eyes blazing for me

I was never filled to the top

Always a glass half empty

But now without you and your guiding light

I am nothing more

Than your empty film canister

Lying forgotten in the dark


The End

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