Photograph With Beer Can Camera
It bothers me that the writer called it a snapshot.
My brain is scribbling cartoons of young journalists arguing
word choices with ragged, aging editors. Everyone in the cartoon
has a desk, but nobody gets a computer—I wasn't born
into an age of internet or pocket phones with no snap.
At college I spent beer money on 35mm and ages
in the lab trying to thread it into the steel reel by touch in
Coming out of the room periodically, cursing the developing tank
and my own fumbling. The article fades further. I'm still here,
parsing the headline, full of dissonance, sending out waves.
For three years I passed the small building on campus
next to the sign saying Camera Obscura. I didn't graduate,
didn't show up in the photograph. It was not a time
of snapshots. I learned art but not patience, made shadow
puppets on the wall at night, got sunburned in my first bikini.
Smoked and quit, gained weight and lost it. Nothing archival
except one moment at the end of three years, when you and I
married in the August heat, after ages of dating
which would have stretched on, but we punched a hole in
the beer can, slung it out of reach and now
look. My brain scribbles cartoons of young couples arguing.
Everyone in the cartoon gets a snapshot, but the persistent ones
somehow fumble toward the long exposure. At first we made moons
and over time suns, as we learned to let in more light.
When upended, there were lenses to right us, to bounce us back.
Fortunately details are blurred—nothing shorter than three
years resolves. Some scars show but we trailed light mostly,
rising and shining again, sky wide against our small arcs.
We're still seen by a camera we've long forgotten, more than
thirty years of photographs, sending out waves.
If you have any
thoughts on this poem, Lisa Bledsoe
would be pleased to hear them.