When I Saw the New Spider-Man Movie

Kirsten LiangFebruary 27, 2023Dreams and DesiresPoetry

it’s been 802 days since last entered a cinema
so perhaps my senses are overloaded. i thought i
recognized the curve of your nose from my
periphery. but the silver light is hypnotizing, and
i know not what type of hallucinogen this
popcorn is laced. gold-leaf butter curls down my
throat, settles in my stomach like dreams in the

head of a newborn hearing their first lullaby. we
know not what to do with the desire that wells in
our souls, so at night we comb our visions for
familiar faces, morning cleanse our facades of
sin. as we lie dormant, the moon strokes our
faces, runs her finger against our worried brows.
your gaze focused on the screen, alien awash

reds silvers blues. the hero sobs, cradling his
first mistake's head, nuzzling the looming
consequences' lips. soon she will be forgotten,
we all will, i think, nibbling my thumbnail. the
credits roll. lights flick on, people emerge from
their blue-light daze, patting seats for cell
phones, wiping sugar dust from their soft

bellies, not waiting for the list names that came
together to splice pictures into a story. the stars,
the producers, the caffeinators, the production
babies, running in helices behind an arpeggioed
soundtrack. what makes a hero? the thunder
behind them, the CG glimmer of their
costumery, the wide eyes of the first civilian

they cannot save? our humanity defines us and
we humans believe what we see. it’s why we rub
our eyes in the mornings. why we stay awake at
night. before crawling out of bed, we stretch our
arms, our lies. prepare them for the oncoming
traffic, the mind-numbing commute. live for
five milky minutes in disbelief before are ready
to carry this gravity on our spines.

kIRSTEN lIANG is 15 years old but wishes she were 17 so she could watch R-rated films. Her work has been placed in many competitions for students: on an international level in the 2021 National Flash Fiction Day Competition hosted by fingerscommatoes, on a national level at the 2021 and 2022 Scholastic Writing Awards, and on a state level at the 2022 National History Day Competition. She lives in Georgia.