David Salner

The Mystery of Rosebud

                –On a tenth viewing of Citizen Kane


The screen fills with fire, and the heat
bubbles the varnish off the sled, but for one


flickering moment
Rosebud appears in the flames


that lick at the black and white screen
hungry as time.


A workman tosses another load
of memories into the furnace,


which is where we are,
and darkness fills the theater.


A friendless death, a boyhood lost,
symbolized by the sled—we get those parts,


but what confounds us
is the image itself,


how Rosebud was consumed by time,
and burned to nothing, and is gone.

David Salner’s second book, Working Here, was published by Minnesota State University’s Rooster Hill Press in 2010. His poetry appears in recent issues of The Iowa Review, Poetry Daily, and Threepenny Review. Chapters from his novel about hard-rock miners in the Old West are appearing in Cottonwood. He worked for 25 years as an iron ore miner, steelworker, and general laborer.