• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 04


I’ll win this round as only winners can.
First, from the shed I fetch the folding screen;
Then on go the lilac cotton trousers.
I pin up the ostentatious flower
And do my stretching exercises while
You tilt the camera on the window sill.
We’re good to go. Positioning my face
Against the modest handkerchief, I brace
My elbows and adjust my striped shoulders.
*Click*! You’ve set me up for a long exposure. . . .

Inverted moments pass. The air bleeds golden.
The light-impatient shutter snaps to a closure
At last and, smoothly, down she folds, the same
Serene expression masking her true face.
(Only certain friends and rivals can tell:
Beneath the calm it’s always volatile.)
And in the darkroom, equally audacious,
There she is again, between a glower
And a simper, free of blurring – vain.
Beat *that*, she seems to say. *As if you can.*