Poem 5, 2022

Pictures to Show

The article calls for being present.

That instead of taking photos of the bee
Sucking on sunflower,
Lock your eyes onto the living
Shaking ugly thing in front of you.

See, the seconds spent aiming the lens
At the subject is time enough
For the latter to flee the scene
Of the would-be sublime.

Then you lose both
The picture and the pleasure
Of looking and locking
Wonder in your head.

*

Another article warns us
Of lives unlived through untold stories.

Better false than forgotten.

At thirty you must have a lot to show
For daring to age. Objects to fit
A highlight reel, or to catalogue
In a poem about growing old.

Flaunt minor successes.
Meals to tell your taste and status.
Your hard-earned confidence
Underneath the dresses.

Friends who are nothing
And everything like you. The one
Job, source of pride and stability.
House, husband, babies.

*

These recording devices,
Phone, paper and paint,
Are far less destructive
Than the naked eye.

I held the gaze of a boy
On the other end of the table.
A handsome creature
Alive in front of me

And already a changed man in my head.

—Razel Estrella (19 April 2022)

Check out