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The Silverplate Photo

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It is not in the silverplate negative I gave it,
nor the overexposed, sunblasted colors of late afternoon
held deep within the expression. Your eyes held
in slight squint, the same camera smile except here
you lean in, as if proud. As if some other might
enter from stage right and drag me to his cave.
Me, I lean in, my arm circled about your neck
knowing yours is at my waist even though cut
from the photo; I can still feel the palm of you there. The hot
June air, how you chased me through the park
in some effort, pathetic, we tried to recapture
a thing thought lost. We did not find it.
Instead what we found was that love leaves
no traceable trail. No path to follow back.
That it is in the unraveling that we come apart
as two lovers as we try to find the center,
each running from separate corners – the TV
embrace sung about in Cigarettes Will Kill You.,
I want it so badly.

So is this our TV embrace? The once in a while
protective lean in, romantic to some degree,
the fierce lioness look of my eye as if, again,
some other might take you. Lure you with such
dark charms I would never know the likes nor would
ever see her coming because to me she is invisible.
A thing to be looked through, like the last,
and the last and the last and the last….
none of them warranting my attention were it not
for the attention lavished on them, on you, by them.
Do you follow? Are you following me now?
Do you see where this road leads. How easy it is
to slip: to stumble like so many before us as
they walk the thin, cobbled road and eat their
humble pie. Try to make a go of it and all the while
repeating, it was not my fault, it was not my fault
as if fault had anything to do with it. Love, today they
say the starlings have taken over. They are robber
birds at best, stealing the nests of others. So why
then should I love them, the chatterbox tree outside
my window, when these are the birds that would
take all that I have, have wanted. Perhaps that is just life.
Perhaps life is just: do the meek inherit the earth
and if so, which of us it be?

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About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti