Red water laps, a familiar form sharpens;
my out-of-focus hand refills your glass.
Toasting the turn of a year never lived,
no one hears the shutter flex
but you, turning to the camera
in miniscule movement, time-lapse:
a wink broken down to its constituent parts,
smile expanded to its own universe.
Brown eyes speak of your resurgence;
recognition in the grey hair
still combed over sun-starved ears,
last reserves of black patrolling the scalp.
In the resurrection machine of the darkroom,
scenes choose themselves in the stop-baths,
chemicals stir the electric memory
and the final image is pegged up to dry:
the roll-up you meant to smoke later
resting on your armchair,
the glass of whisky a third full
relinquished, falling forever.
Crossings Over (University of Chester)