What my eyes see reminds me of under-exposed
negatives from my bygone wet photography days,
days replete with eyes—the camera’s, the enlarger’s, mine—
when I failed to admit sufficient light to the film,
resulting in negatives so thin that, held aslant,
they looked like printed pictures. Thin, yet yielding
tender images, the sweet round faces of children
rising and blooming in the developer tray as if
pulled from the photo paper’s fertile heart as it sloshed and sang
for an allotted time in nether clouds of liquid vapor,
images startling with the beauty of their truths.
Then into the final tray, a bath transforming love
and sight to artifact, though faint the accretion,
fragile memory made lasting with the help of chemical tears.