Saturday, November 17, 2007

A sampling of other people’s vacation photos in which you appear, at best, as a figure of minor significance

1. For weeks after they got back to Davenport,
Bob and Peggy showed you to their neighbors
and to the other scout moms. You scowledlike an informant in a surveillance photo.
Maybe it was the graininess of the gray April sky
and those cobblestones hazed by rain.
Maybe it was your camel raincoat
set against a field of bright ponchos.

2. You are a blur across the Piazza,
turning quickly and becoming a winged thing
where the shutter has caught you, between two awkward stations
within the continuum of your motion.
The perspective diminishes you, makes you a vague angel
perched just above this woman’s shoulder.

5. Someone actually wanted to get a picture of you.
He waited until you jogged up to the bridge
in order to contrast the austere towers
and the arch of the mile-long span
against the striving stick figure form
of you running at the day’s dawning. Don’t be flattered;
had there been just a bridge
and no runner
he would still have snapped a picture.
If there had been a runner
but no bridge,
he’d have just kept walking.

13. Has anyone ever pointed out
that there is a moment in your gait
when your head juts forward just so
and the flexion of your wrist
suggests a posture
that is remarkably simian?
Here. Look.

A SAMPLING…, page 2, new stanza

23. Grand Canyon – Autumn, 1991. The light is marmalade,
the earth as impossibly tan as a rich man’s wife.
Far on the other side is a tiny bus,
robin’s egg blue, though it’s just small enough
to make its color debatable.
Someday, they’ll invent equipment
that will allow us to zoom in on the window
where you sleep, stunned with heat
and drooling on your own shoulder.

31. Is that a smudge?
No, it’s just you.

Mark Aiello