Portrait of a Portrait

I dare not look at that photo overlong,
even as I tell people how much fun the
familiar windswept beach was that day.
I must avert my eyes lest the picture
replace my memory. The still shot
of foam would drive from my head
the terrible roar of the ocean whipped by the sky
and the heavy violence of a wave
breaking full in my face and chest.
And I might forget
diving upwards through a breaker,
the weight of water
shaken from my hair,
spitting salt from the back of my mouth,
and chasing with a thumb across my eyebrows
the brine which sits on my lashes.
And I might forget
the beautiful heartbreak I feel
throughout my body taut with cold,
the assault and embrace of an indifferent glory.

And as my stilled image grimaces against
the quieted sun, wind, and spray,
I might even forget
why I liked the photo in the first place
except that it caught my crooked nose
just right for facebook.

-Allan

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Filed under Caterwauling, Poetry

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