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I am almost never there, in these
old photographs: a hand
or shoulder, out of focus; a figure
in the background,
stepping from the frame.
I see myself, sometimes, in the restless
blur of a child, that flinch
in the eye, or the way
sun leaks its gold into the print;
or there, in that long white gash
across the face of the glass
on the wall behind. That
smear of light
the sign of me, leaving.

Look closely
at these snapshots, all this
Kodacolor going to blue, and you’ll
start to notice. When you finally see me,
you’ll see me everywhere — floating
over crocuses, sandcastles,
autumn leaves, on those
melting snowmen, their faces
drawn in coal; among all
the wedding guests,
the dinner guests, the birthday-
party guests — this smoke
in the emulsion: the flaw.
A ghost is there; the ghost gets up to go.

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