hold still for sally mann

Chesapeake, VA 06/10/16

what transpires behind the photograph is lost
but the photograph remains
the process having been excised
from memories—faded with the weight of living

chemicals leave behind
a residue, a distilled beauty on paper
the ideal, coxed to the surface
to be held gentle in emulsion

when the eye denies color, forms emerge
color is the distraction,
the circus sideshow of living
to strip out color, is to lay bare the ideal

pining for the ideal, we are all lost
in a body farm labyrinth—with no way out
suspending decay in time, negative-to-positive
for the sake of art and science

a passage
a day
when our makeshift vessels no longer retain
the water-of-life
and the feral child, naked, on horseback
crosses over

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