Familiar

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writing

A photograph album sits somewhere under the bed.

A past girlfriend took the pictures.

I don’t recall clearly, but I’m sure only one or two are of me.

Over years, my memory triggered I think of it.

Perhaps when with a lazy kick I force another object, now unnecessary underneath.

Each time I collapse down onto the carpet, instantly hit by an exhumed dust rushing to greet me.

A white rectangle forms before me,

then a black one imposes itself on top like a Polaroid.

The developing form is slow

organic

solemn.

First I see the shoes.

One loose lace.

A slight tear near the sole.

Then the frame of a body itself.

A little too thin – skeletal.

An impression of an uncomfortable stance –

left hand gripping right wrist.

A pose that is shudderingly familiar.

Eyes grow out slowest of all – connecting – folding space.

But each time, the more things move into focus – the more the image begins to withdraw.

The strain releases – collapsing until only the white rectangle remains.

Year after year the ritual re-occurs.

The effect slow in its approach, vague in its intentions changes everything.

I’ve heard that human breath can destroy a photograph. The moisture soaked up adoringly by cherished images.

Perhaps I should have looked more often underneath where I slept.

Unknowingly a Chrysalis,

A cocoon of Polyester

There unchanged looking up always face to face

Under forever diminishing returns.

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