In the year 1210, in that town which is now Barcelona, a woman named Amalia directed the first film, in real time, like an Andy Warhol, of a pile of golden apples in the market and of the light that knew to bring out the spots of green or blush or the violet tips of straw which formed a bed beneath the apples, and of the hands and their shadows— the film was mostly about the hands and their shadows— which arrived all day to touch the apples, hands missing a thumb or with a hoof print in the palm, shadows which traced and rearranged the fruit and in a way rearranged the light and the dust motes that hung like primitive sequins in that light, rough fingers which crossed the screen in chiaroscuro, in the carriage of dancers or pall bearers, hands which appeared to think while touching the bruises and stems, and would sometimes place an apple in a bag. And though the machinery of cinema would not be invented for centuries, and though this film was something dreamed of rather than manifest, the apples and the hands it memorized were real.

CHAD SWEENEY is the author of three books of poetry, Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James, 2010), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), and An Architecture (BlazeVOX, 2007) and editor of Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose (City Lights, 2009). Sweeney’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Crazyhorse, New American Writing, Colorado Review, Black Warrior, and elsewhere. He is coeditor of Parthenon West Review and is working toward a Ph.D. in literature at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he teaches poetry and serves as assistant editor of New Issues Press.