My mother only took photographs of sadness. The Crown box camera clicked and fluttered the wide-eyed shutter that closed so slowly like a hesitant flower with its withering petals. The camera reminded me of a hearse and all of images were like minor funerals, the death of the moment each frame of the film captured. The still photographs were gravestones that we would visit on every holiday.
My mother thought of me as a suffering child for the way I always saw shipwrecks and storms in the eyes of other children. Also because I refused to have my photograph taken for I felt it was stealing, even then; stealing of the precious, unseen things that allow us to breathe in the rare air of the minor gods. I’ve always felt that our wings are not yet ready to fly quite so high just then and so we must learn to live among the ghosts of our ruined past before we reach the purer air. Even then, we risk the possibility of being torn to shreds by our doubt and the hawks whose eyes are nothing but the fuse of a fire we must fly through.
we bury sadness
in pictures of dying leaves
darkness has a way