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The Streetlight Reel

Updated: Feb 13

Arthur Michelstetter - January 23, 2024

Artwork by - Brenna Billington

The streetlight reels the film

of static air conically.

Piercing the black sky, 

it illuminates

my black winter coat.


The woolen coat covers a

wooden body containing

a tell-tale heart that beats

as long as bears be awake.

My coat hides a once-fiery soul;

the snowfall slowly envelops once-orange

leaves on the ground so cold-


cold like my eye eluded by

the new moon awaiting its rise.

The beauty will rise on a romantic,

poetic night; I’ll have painted

leafy orange nails onto my frostbitten,

blue hand.  And I’ll have obtained

the barista’s number written

after ten mornings, ten days

of daydreaming influenced

by my wooden parts containing

a once-beating heart looking

for a more human state.


I’ll have spent hours melting

sheets of ice off the side of my car

off onto the side of the road.

When headlights drive by,

they’ll see a furnace in the forest

with the charcoal simmering

by the movements of me and

my port being moored in.


When the beauty rises,

I’ll ignite in flames

on top of the ground-bound snow.

A bonfire in a dark winter forest

always bests a bright backyard's

s'more's summer vanguard.


My wooden corpse

won't serve as kindling; its sodden self

will have dried. And it won't become

wet when I walk under the streetlight,

the reel flipping frantically

with snowflakes tumbling

as I hold onto the snowy post.

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