Uncut footage by Mark J. Mitchell

                                    Uncut Footage
                        He Lets Her In
            She said her name was Tracy Evidence
            but I would not believe that. I am called
            Case, Justin Case. Both of us were burdened
            with criminal misnomers. Blond as snow
            her spell dimmed the room. “Now,” she said, “convince
            me you are blood and bone. Stretch out your tall
            shape. Brush my face with your eyes.” So I turned
            my back. Kept silent. Watched a taxi’s slow
            progress through traffic. “No one’s coming, miss,
            if that’s why you’re waiting. Your cool face stalls
            time but clocks keep ticking. Something I learned
            before you were pulled out of air. You know
            my name. I’ve heard yours. Why not just commence
            your tale. Pauses bore me and I might fall
            asleep. Kiss me back to life then and return
            your gun. I smell oil. You don’t need to show
            it off. I’ll do the polite, hear your hints
            and you can trust my form. I’m no Ken doll®
            to play with. I’ll tell you if the words burn
            blue and true. Close those dark eyes. Talk. Now. Go.”
                                    She Spells It Out
Her hands draw crisp minarets in the air:
                        I pass a fish across the sun.
                        I wait for two days, then wait one.
                        I turn my eyes from what might come
                        And I remember all you’ve done.
                        Now watch me scrape scales off the moon
                        Then listen closely. Hear its tune.
                        The light fades out while white sands bloom
                        And your harvest comes with dark at noon.
Now look: her fingers fold to sketch a square:
                        You’ll chase a trail of white lip gloss
                        Over unsettled, suspect sheets.
                        You will not touch the scar you’ve lost
                        Blazing a trail with white lip gloss
                        That drops from her purse. Your careless toss
                        Leads from mirrored walls to empty streets.
                        You’ll chase your tale. The bright lip gloss
                        Is settled. You’ll suspect her sheets.
Palm shadows shape a tree, its branches bare:
                        They lean and stretch their lost (slipped?) kisses. Now look—
                        Their skin takes fright and they miss
                        With eye and tongue. What’s at risk
                        Is this morning, as a blue evening
                        Closes, broken. Without cues
                        Songs begin for just those two,
                        Beyond our ears. They hide their bright silence
                        In half notes fenced by a white
                        Sheet. Over that wall, their night.
                        Apostle spoons settle in red velvet.
                        Their case is open. Dust never sleeps. Clocks
                        click, stuck on a minute. A featherweight
                        page sighs, falls back into the leather book.
                        No one is in the is room, so that sunbeam
                        may not exist. A perhaps cat once preened
                        here. Stray hairs give her away. Old smoke—
                        Yesterday’s ghost—hovers. The curtain inflates
                        then drops soft against smudged glass. All the locks
                        are open. This emptiness is at rest.
                                         Around A Corner
                                    Two eyes, blank as steel, shift loosely
                                    as lazy toys from a school carnival.
                                    They see nothing. They reflect less. But once,
                                    maybe an hour ago, they were alive
                                    as water, looking through a mirror to see—
                                    What? Here’s a mute witness. Your arrival
                                    is empty. Move along. There’s not a chance
                                    of recall. Some one came. They peeked, then died.

About the Poet
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies: Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. He has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). He has written several novels: Knight Prisoner (Vagabondage Press), The Magic War (Loose Leaves Publishing), and A Book of Lost Songs (Wild Child Publishing, forthcoming). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.