The Secret Life of a Photograph
Imagine a looking glass song, memorialized,
mesmerizing. A photograph of a useless
room, a door not closed or open.
Startled words nestled,
beautifully framed, kneeling, spangled with dust.
His breath, an escaped conversation,
the cold makes into icy lace,
a momentary mid-air
decoration. An object
like the photograph he once was.
Delphi: He remembers sitting on
a hill, 6am, watching tour buses
slither up the mountain road. Sacred
and profane: an enjambed balance.
What a thing is and exactly what’s
missing. The Oracle, never photo-
graphed, readies for seekers
Wishes on the moon, a new moon, every moon.
Wishes to relive 12 minutes to the second.
Remember: to turn slowly, to feel, not
think. Two words. Hoping to make
the sun rise, even though it already has.
The days’ held breath is released.
Night exhales the moon, errant
stars, and paintless darkness. Prayers,
desire, exhausted wishes -- wordless,
disembodied, caressed -- skulk against the sky,
If you will know the correct order of letters,
you make a world, you make creation.
An image and its presumed shadow. How he
talks to himself: shrugs, sighs, muscle pauses,
metastasized longing. An intimate
conversation with absence. Not tactile,
desired. Misunderstanding any means to explain.
The theory: make a line drawing
of everywhere you’ve ever lived,
and you’ll end up drawing
your own face. Mouth and lips
play at being muscles.
Homecoming: the sum
of our mistakes: skin,
nerves, blood - Nowhere
better than anywhere.
The house rests on its hips.
What he throws his disappeared life
against is hidden: a mirror,
freshly emptied, still wet from
the afterimage. The image
stitched on the back of a mirror.