Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Culpability
Next story: It's Superman! A Novel by Tom de Haven


The sought-after empty beach pushes to the edges

of the photo. You are in the foreground, sunburned

with near freckles pointed out by your mother,

father, husband, proud to be the only ones present

who have witnessed you bleached by winter.

The rest is not family, but relatives, different

tensions you say, occasional people who take snapshots

to freeze you for the next decade. The distraction

of comparison keeps the aunts and uncles from bickering.

The identical backdrop captured every time,

you whip your highlighted hair back hard,

throw your hands up in mock surprise, act

natural while the next cousin adjusts the color.

You saw that pose in an old Marilyn photo, Norma Jean, really,

the black and white one frozen two decades before DiMaggio.