When I look at these photographs
I see the way she sees me,
the ways she is able look or, rather,
the way she is able to see the things she sees
(texture, color, contrast, shadow, me).
That nose and that chin were mine
before she took them
and what her eyes have done to the ones in my head
makes films and papers and chemicals
seem more important than they ever should be.
These are problems of optics and
the ways light will bend when introduced to liquid, rampant,
inside our heads.
In a photo album,
they are flat and will not rise to meet
the profile drawing near,
the conscious quest for detail.
Often, they are black and/or white
But more, a skillful melding of the two.
We will turn those pages slowly. Together.
Back lit and hungry,
a halo of halogen corona and, curious,
the one (or is it my?)
arm strikes shadow sharp and clear.
These are records, I must always remind myself,
but of what remains delusional and
how is it possible for these documents
to record the sound
of one other woman's shoes
as they strike the paving stones
that are displayed in the rain
on the way
to the door
which I am opening
because I remember
what it sounds like
when she taps the wire-bound glass
that cuts into the wood
and lets us see each other?