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Soon, soon enough, all of this,
this lived life, this navy-blue couch,
your confetti-splashed, yellow-striped skirt
spread across it, your lovely legs beneath
the skirt, the joyous aroma of toast in the toaster,
a ball bouncing and the cry of boys, all of it
will assume the stilted look
of my childhood photographs. 1958,
’59. My brother and I on a couch, a small box
unwrapped in his lap, both of us gray,
couch and carpet gray, the day beyond the open window
gray and its curtain pulled outside for the moment
by a puff of wind. Hold up, again, delighted,
to the photographer, mom or dad,
your first watch, hanging from your hand
like a caught fish, its darting eye grown dull
in a blink.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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