"Instant" | Poetry Contest | Indy Week

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"Instant"

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It's the Polaroid wet gray if potential color and

the way you surface through a shadow, then

a blur, then flecks of color like the things

you do, the glint of teeth when you say hurry

up, take the goddamn picture already,

through a stiff yet genuine smile. A flash

of shiny white, you hold your grin like sharks' teeth,

lose one and another follows. Click grind and

you're in my hand, flat and gray. I wave

it around to dry, the colors emerging, the

colors that are never quite right. Where subtleties are

reds and oranges like street signs, stop, yield, right of way.

On the page you have corpse white skin and I can't help

but notice that it looks pornographic, but with your clothes

on. I write 2/4 on the white band underneath you and leave it

at that. I always trust I'll remember, even as the nameless

photos collect and I ignore the black captions in my head,

the ones that say "that girl" and "oh, you know, him." I

always think I'll hold the names forever, pressed

between plastic and paper like chemical goo.

It doesn't run, it evaporates.

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