The Theft of Our Souls

“The Hopis do not allow photographs. They feel that the photograph robs them of their soul. I do not blame them. Some things should not be photographed.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

1) The man behind the camera is a man and a cyclops both.

2) The man before the camera is a chieftain divested of feathers and alone before the firing squad.

3) The rifles are raised and the air through the sights shimmers.

4) Between the clicking of the shutter and the shudder of the clicking is the moment. The moment shimmers. And whispers inaudible secrets to leaning men.

5) We lean toward the moment. And away.

6) It takes two to murder.

7) The camera, too.

8) Which is why each time we face each other naked, my fingers tense and my eyes close. You stand three-eyed and I stand blindfolded and handcuffed in the silence before you.

9) Then comes the shimmering. And then the shuddering. Before our murder. Before the theft of souls.

How We Hurt Our Lovers As We Sleep
This morning there were scratches by her ear. 
She dreamed she grazed herself slipping through 
      barbed wire into Lebanon. 
She wanted to pick some blooming anemones 
      to bring home to me. 
They were electrified, she says. Leftover mines 
      from the war. 
When she reached to pluck the roots, her hand 
      was blown off. 
The landscape went blood-red.
On line with her wrist-stump, she saw a Druse 
      shepherd disappear over a hill. 
She woke up to find me lying on her hand.