Public Interest

The photographers will turn off
their lights, fold up the legs
of their tripods, pack up
black cameras into black bags,
zip them closed, return
lenses to their black cases,
snap them shut.

The photographers, each in turn,
through the back lit narrow doorway
will retreat from what
was never theirs to enter.

And what, for the photographic instant,
was declared emblematic, metaphoric—
will go back to being the single
thing it was all along.

One home,
one clay wall,
one satchel,
one calendar displaying
one torn month.
One frame containing
one life photographed.
One tin spoon, having stirred
one tin pot, then entering
one mouth.

About the author

Arlyn has published her poems in Calyx, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Freefall , and the 2008 Her Mark Journal. She travels widely through the…

Read the full bio