The pretty photographer
The pretty photographer smells of vervain.
She washes her knit top in vervain soap
and dries it laid out on a small towel
on the white painted wooden floorboards
in front of the double doors
that lead to a tiny balcony
where no one ever goes.
Once, her brother stood out there
and when he leaned over the iron railings
she saw them begin to bend
and she said nothing,
and when he came back inside
still smoking his cigarette she said
nothing about the rust stain striped across
his oatmeal coloured V-neck jersey.
This is where the photographer is now:
outside the zoo, taking photographs
of people’s bags, and what
they are carrying in their hands.
The pretty photographer says nothing
in interviews or artist statements
about the people’s bags, their hands,
the things they carry.
She talks instead about the importance
of shadows to the composition,
and the problem of the colour
of the shadow often clashing
with the colour of the object in the sun—
a third colour must be found
to act, she says, as a go-between.
And then she laughs, a curl of hair
slipping down across her face.