In the interval between
What’s glimpsed and what’s unseen,
Between the hidden and the big reveal,
There’s a kind of ballet. You feel
That everyone’s complicit:
The passersby, the looker and the looked-at, who each elicit
A grin or frown of disapproval.
And at the center of it all
A woman in a phone booth
Like Houdini’s water torture. What’s her truth:
Her face is half-obscured
In shadow; the phone receiver’s covered
By her right hand. Maybe she’s about to say,
Some guy is taking pictures. There’s something in the way
She’s turned to face us,
As if she’s trying to debase us
For our curiosity. Is she aware of our attention?
Her eyes are lowered in discretion
At this private tête-à-tête
That’s playing out in public. And yet
Isn’t this a conversation
With all the other photographs whose passion
Prefers to be anonymous?
What does that say about us?