‘I passed beyond the unreality of the thing
represented, I entered crazily into the spectacle, into
the image, taking into my arms what is dead’
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida
After communion, some sunday lunch,
Three generations line up
bucket smiles for us.
There's me at the end—
lips flared in acceptance that
memory is sometimes shared.
White knuckles crack
against the net of the lens.
Pupils make irises
shrink in the shade,
sink in a face made cherubic
by pale skin glowing with
overexposure; sulphur burns
blur its edges.
Translucent waif — chased
from childrens' wards to the Word.
Wrapped by my Grandfather's arm
and the sandalwood scent of his robes.
His mountains and ministry hang
love and truth on a small stretched chest.
Keen as my newly needed razor,
flowers wilt at feet washed
by storms of serotonin
misfiring all spring
until the garden — the world —
reeks of almonds and wounds.
Now flatline lips flicker
as a grasshopper mimics a camera's click.
Then they twitch: That's it! Or maybe. It was.