“Hollywood Movie Posters is the oldest memorabilia store in the world located in the same location with the same proprietor.”—KABC, March 19, 2020
All through the first great war to end all wars,
the siren-addled nights of its successor,
up till last week, the sunbaked, time-warped doors
of one slim passage welcomed every passer-
by . . . High noon, yet no one passes by . . .
Magnetic trinkets draw no tourist’s eye.
Motes build tract housing in the grooves of vinyl.
An eerie calm prevails. Not tomblike—shrinal.
I come for solace. Far in back, vitrines
hold Universal Monsters safely penned:
vampires, mummies, wolfmen—every friend
of anxious childhood, surest of vaccines
against the grownup world’s uncertain horrors,
which spread like scentless, soundless fog before us.