Autumn 1951 • Vol. XIII No. 4 Poetry |

The Photograph

1. This little square of time, this black and white emblem—all other things are shaded, only this square is not. Only this rude rectangle argues the absolute. Here in the fantoccini stare, the waxen child looks out forever at the man who looks back knowing he never will outlast the child, knowing himself the child, but the child not he— it is a rectangle of black and white. 2. This little square of time, this rectangle whose right angles measure not space but time, holding the tender face, the podex bare and entertaining in the serpent's grip— the serpent folds around, involves in all the terrible nisus of its bowels. The serpent and the baby wrestling startle the man who, perched as a bird on a crag of light, sees himself toppling. 3. Not even the flower, not even the flower naked and soft upon its midnight bed escapes the forked mouth that devours the day, the oxygen-destroying mouth, the light- eating bowel that bores through our richest birth. Not

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1. This little square of time, this black and white emblem—all other things are shaded, only this square is not. Only this rude rectangle argues the absolute. Here in the […]

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