Why We Go to Horror Movies
by Bill Glose

It’s not for production values or Razzie-worthy
performances of young, beautiful, half-naked actors.

We go for the glove of darkness, the sly gift of its
fur-lined fingers. When six college kids break into

a boarded-up asylum and discover a full-length mirror
standing in a dim basement, one student who somehow

knows its significance chants the spell that unlocks
an ancient curse. Laughter all around until power

suddenly winks off. A heavy bow saws strings
of a deep-throated bass, tempo slowly swelling

as one heads off to investigate. My date drops half-eaten
bag of popcorn into open mouth of the seat beside her

then leans across the armrest. Hooking an elbow around
her neck, I pull her tighter, closer, until my hand slips

inside the throat of her shirt, vibrating with the thrum
of her heart. Just as tendrils leap from the mirror,

a volley of violins erupts like shattering glass
and we both jump in our seats. She looks up at me,

gardenia perfume filling my head, and then the swirl
of tongues, the taste of butter. From wall-mounted

speakers high above, a sonorous chord draws long
to warn us that something dangerous is about to happen.

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