Photograph, 1959

Depending on the slant of light,
time shifts the delineation of the day:

and truth is tinted amber-grey, mauve,
warm honey; or sepia darkened at the softly

crumpled edges. She looks out at you:
still-young eyes beneath a beehive

hairdo; pale, pink-lipsticked smile. It is
sometime in November, in a stuffy booth

at La Suerte photo studio. A photographer
has raised his arm and counted backward—

three-two-one— as though right there,
the world were on the cusp, about to crown

out of the camera’s velvet drape. The angle
of her head, the modest neckline, contrivance

of flowers and a scroll-backed chair complete
this portrait of her pulchritude. Where are we

at this point in history? Not quite embodied
flesh nor bone, nor calcium littered among

the stars. No, no scheme to capture destiny—
on the other side of the print, just a signature’s

watery flourish, addressing what’s to come.

 

In response to small stone (148).

2 Comments


  1. I love the rhythms here and especially like this surprising phrasing
    about to crown/ out of the camera’s velvet drape

    Thank you for this poem.

    Joan

    Reply

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