Anonymous Brothel Photo, 1885
Overexposure; light-wash. Even her fingers,
splayed in approximation of desire,
lose their singleness. Even the hair
that flares across her neck and shoulders singes
the too-receptive paper. The light changes
everything – her legs bent like a soldier
trampled in the field become tined spears
of lightning; a yoke of flame was once a string
of costume pearls. Who wouldn’t wish to be
refined this way, blessing, blessed with light,
unreal to any vision but the mind’s?
Then, sun might be a flicker of the sky
and not the flashpan’s overbearing white,
the skin’s cinched corset virtually unbound.
"Anonymous Brothel Photo, 1885" first appeared in Smartish Pace, Spring 2006.
First posted on September 14, 2012 6:05 AM