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By John Sibley Williams

While the photographer develops his film
and the throws of ordinary life resume,
I am left to pose alone—

with leg draped over my ritual chair,
with a new suit I didn’t buy,
with the knitted brow of knowing
eternity is static
and feigning indifference.

Chemicals are blending in the next room.
I can smell what it means
to no longer be temporary.
I’m reliving a certain schoolboy violence,
leaving it nearer the surface.

Not enough has been taken from me.

My face is still turned to the window
as it will be in the picture.
I can’t see out of either.
Heavy light eclipses one half of one eye,
as if I’m reading through the tooth marks
left on newsprint.

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