Whirrs and Whorls (Tristitia)
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Whirrs and Whorls (Tristitia)

And, hey, the Polaroid wasold anyway, a piece of junk really. Whenit bounced, I thought it was gonna come uproses, maybe snap a shot mid-arc,but no dice. All it could do was grind its gearslike a stuck toy truck. And when I looked up, your

lip was shivering and the last pic, the one in your lefthand, was starting to clear. It was my elbow beforea backdrop of boxes and moving tape. Maybenot what you aimed for. Maybe notthe most flattering frame for rememberingus or the room. But it captured

enough: the implements of dislocation and the soundof that sad smashed camera is stuckto it. Just like your breath, just like your voicein this chair on this porch in this place you’ve never heardof and will likely never see. That’s the thingabout photographs of leaving. They only matter

once you’ve left. I was there, I know. I packedthose boxes. I bought that tape. ButI swear, that arm isn’t mine. [End Page 46]

John A. Nieves

John A. Nieves has poems forthcoming or recently published in journals such as Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, and Salamander. He won the 2011 Indiana Review Poetry Contest, and his first book, Curio (2014), won the Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award Judge’s Prize. He is an assistant professor of English at Salisbury University. He received his MA from the University of South Florida and his PhD from the University of Missouri.

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