accoutrements: her cove,
white, no right angles.
a soft box and reflector.
I sit before the tripod, subject to light.
“Set-up is ninety per cent,” she says,
and slips the India silk
across my shoulders, hooding my hair.
“Close your eyes.”
I do; she shoots—first
a Polaroid prep.
strings in Beethoven’s
numinous last quartet suffuse the room.
My image comes up quick—ethereal girl,
borne away in the head of a deaf man.
She snaps the film-back onto the Hasselblad.
“Close your eyes and open slowly.
Centre on your chest.”
I lower my nose,
hear the lento e tranquillo,
Camera captures every fraction,
reckons every breath.
Sepia: the second set.
Wearing my woven Ephesus shawl,
I’m altered—almond-eyed, almost, and older.
Grave ma non troppo tratto.
Weave of that biblical city
into a Lydian.