Lauren K. Carlson: The Photograph Holds in Contrast

night tree rough bark soft light feathery and welcoming
and then we were walking the deer was not
one leg missing or was one leg hurt and held higher than the rest
I couldn’t tell
or could tell then
but can’t tell you now
            the point

the gait was uneasy
had an uneasy gait
I, an uneasy gate next to you
meadow across from which was the cemetery
graves in Swedish
lilacs extending delicate fingers
could I photograph this shadow foolish thought but
            the shadow followed

you were a runner once you said
high elevation made your lungs strong
Roger Bannister broke the impossible
            but I was that three-legged

deer how appropriate
I have some fairly extraordinary attributes
for instance once got Eileen Fisher pants for twenty-five-cents believe it or not
I won’t say if you won’t best pair where the streetlight keeps going off
and on for some reason
            cicadas dropping like stars dropping like stars is what I would say but stars don’t drop
            they shoot

who hasn’t seen them in the forest
or some remote lakeshore but I mean falling
really shooting like the plague whizzing
like hail like sudden midsummer thunderstorm
rattling wings getting stuck in my hair what I mean is
            man photographs take me back

I’m desperate for attention and worse than your worst enemy
I mean ordinary monotonous boring amusement
promise hope to die cross the dock the blue fish bit
did you catch one how fitting
            the snagged hook in the belly at the end of the line


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