Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Photograph of a Girl

I have your likeness here: you were like this.
Light swears by shadow here, that on a day
And in a place (but tells not where it is
Or when) you are to be supposed this way.

Or as some king, to whose golden use the sun
Must stamp new images to sanction trade,
Would you enrich me with a single coin
Where others, with many, have much commerce made?

Or do you tend me some security
For time, that when I come to you, we'll stay
Alone for just such time as this (though he
That took it, stands but twenty feet away?)

I doubt it is a parable of time:
How love can make an angle with the sun
To trap time on a page, forcing the same
To other time, and without running, run.

But I alone, and you in this flat land
Remain. That time and place you have abstracted
Will turn and die upon my turning hand:
With twice dying, time has some price exacted.

Howard Nemerov

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