Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 1996 |

Depth of Field

As if they were just coming clear in the developing tray,I'm studying old family photos. I am the infantin her ten-year-old arms, behind us a warposter, the nickel Coke machine. Here, she is fourteen, skirt spread under a palm tree, and I am the petal on her lap. No one else touches me even once in all this black and white. I am feral, hair uncombed, topless under the tropical sun. Of her love, until now, I had only one flash of memory: walking in Miami years after her death, the year my son was born. I smelled her Tangeed lips in the filigreed sago palmand heard the fronds rustle in her voicejust before I fainted, though at her funeral I hadn't shed a tear. I was the pillar they leaned againstEnid Shomerher husband and children, my parents and brother. Now, she appears in a vision: draped like a Roman goddess unearthed whole, she has come to watch my grief spill out after seventeen years. Death, that steady industry, has not agedher, has not furred her though I saw her ravagedbody

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As if they were just coming clear in the developing tray,I'm studying old family photos. I am the infantin her ten-year-old arms, behind us a warposter, the nickel Coke machine. […]

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As if they were just coming clear in the developing tray,I'm studying old family photos. I am the infantin her ten-year-old arms, behind us a warposter, the nickel Coke machine. […]

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