The Photographer

So there’s a girl—there’s always a girl—
wrapped in a white bedsheet beside you
when the cloth collapses. Same with birds,
chucked up there like dirty handkerchiefs

blown off beautiful women en route
to the movies. The lines are winding
through the street again. She used to say
one good picture takes the next. The trick,
you see, is to keep the camera

moving. You don’t see. The babies, bound
to be ugly one day, are rushing
towards the popcorn vender, then waiting
in the dark for their hands to be held.

Every night the bedsheet grows bones
and flies away. You wake up inside
the picture you keep in your wallet:
someone you never met, don’t want to,
someone curved to the weight of your seat.

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