“The Photograph” by Mark Osaki

She is young, slender and almost pretty.
And her pose — if that is what it was — displays
a grace normally associated with less girlish frames.
One hand holds a few strands of hair, and nearby,
the other grasps a large comb placed almost in her lap.
She is wearing a paisley dress, the zipper undone,
it hangs loosely around her shoulders,
and her face is turned towards something
beyond the photo's border. Who she is,
what she meant, the memory I thought to preserve,
have all left me. I know only that I was with her
in a room years ago, and that the sun filtering
into that room faded instantly upon striking the floor.
Only film exposed to that light for a brief instant
of time has kept her, relieved of sense,
of any purpose but of being there. Intent in that time,
but looking away.