Camera Lucida

by amb2431

At evening he feels the pressures of possibly
missing this, quickly dragging himself from the living room
awkwardly turning his chair to face the screen.
He’s watching a movie about the evening, a man
saddened, down on his knees by the window, the woman
sitting at the dinner table reading the Times.
There…there…there…is all he remembers,
a street under the window, clear as clean water
that extends into a town of willows off interstate 5,
then pans out to the riparian habitat of old savannas.
Somewhere in the scene a pronghorn is giving birth,
the Tule elk chanting the deep chants of the river
they drink from, the end of the panorama is not so bad.
Where the glass began its passage through the pane,
light leaped the way water breaks on a rock, its curve
the roundabout gesture which expresses in its speed only curve.
Now he sees from his chair like a figure composing an orchestra
onto an empty field, the light leaving his eye, catching
the last line of action before it drops off
                                                             on the other side of the horizon.
The sheet bears creases of course, having to be ironed.
The wire’s overhang could use adjustment, a little weight
stitched onto the edge might improve the stretch nevertheless
I think he’s still watching it. Someone will be along sooner
or later in a hospital van to transfer him home.
I never saw our street, the man said in repose.
We might wash the window today or tomorrow.
It takes some time—after returning to the end,
there being nothing for our eyes to adjust to.