Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Photographer's Divorce by BJ Ward

She walks out the door for the final time
and her absence is already moving in, clutching
its baggage, looking for whiskey in his cupboard,
negatives in his camera.
Her absence sets the table for one
where it and the man will dine
alone together for many nights.
As they eat each night
in the stark light of a single
candle (how could flame be so cold?),
the absence’s shadow flattens out
across the walls he and she once painted together,
leaves a film that thickens his house,
aggregately closing the space he lives in
like a constricting automatic
camera lens
attempting to photograph an object
or occurrence
to which he’s too close to see clearly.

It’s focusing and focusing
not able to get it—
it focuses so hard
it pulls the garden into the house,
and then the street—
after that, a mountain, a few distant clouds—
soon the whole world
is something he can’t see
as it crowds his house.
In fact, everything is now in his house
except her.