January 23, 2019KR OnlinePoetry

Looking at Ansel Adams’s Photographs of the Manzanar Internment Camp

Another row of cabins, screen-doored and wood-stepped.
Each encampment like a marble cutoff
cut off a bad idea
                           of order; it anchors the splayed hand

of the desert, lays out this figure. And each face
framed in an impenetrable wall: the image earlier,
the photograph later on and even more after the fact.

• •

And these attendant objects in their shadows—
a leather suitcase, a hat across the chest, a doll in a white dress
hanging on against the glass—shock of being

brought out of what darkness we might share
into this waiting room, this flicker of quotidian.
Pushed about and chosen. Everyone walks around.

• •

Knowing, you never know. When you meditate,
meditate to relieve the suffering of others.
When you recognize yourself it is to recognize the self

in someone else.
                          And what about the past, Boss, what do we do?
What do I? Tell me. Tell me to listen.
Tell me to look. Say I should open my hands.

Andy Eaton
Andy Eaton received the 2017 Ploughshares Emerging Writers' award in poetry. His poems appear recently in or are forthcoming from Colorado Review, Horsethief, and Yale Review, among other places.