Photographs of Us by Julie Cameron Gray

Sometimes I compose for each of you
a lousy sonnet. Sometimes I draw you all
in pen sketches, with claws for hands
and lizard tongues. Sometimes I think of you
as alternate versions of myself: Focused,
linear, succinct. Telling stories so good
they can’t possibly be true. We piled into a rental
car to get coffee before the party.
We’re laughing, the car sleek and black
all of us funnier than we are in real life.
I want a perfect photograph to hold
this moment by the throat, but gently. Like a joke.
We try to take photos, but it’s too dark –
We look like ghosts who love traffic lights,
like watercolours in a dark room.
The snapshots are nothing like this moment
and yet are probably enough. Maybe I will stumble
across these photos years from now, dark blurs,
various faces shining like phases of the moon.
Maybe we will meet up and rent another car
and tell stories like those we tell now
and laughter will break over us, or maybe
this is the last time. Maybe years
from now, we won’t even talk anymore.

— from Juniper Volume 7, Issue 2