It wasn’t always this way
it used to be
when bad guys always lost
and paid for their sins
there were cowboy heroes
and stars and stripes
when boys and girls
could be proud then
become lovers in Europe
singers in musicals
movie stars
where Sarah and Willy
gave each other hickeys
and sighs stepping softly
on popcorn carpet
and gumshoe floor
jujubes tossed from the balcony
where flashlight ushers
showed the way
or threw you out
where I lost myself
and didn’t want to leave
but went outside
to see what happened to the day
and stepped back inside
to see the credits
and who was your favorite
you wouldn’t tell
and I guessed then who
I should pretend
to earn your favor
because I was dying
of nostalgia
and not be afraid
to see my own world
projected on a screen
where all is forgiven
when the lights come on