A camera’s zoom lens rubs salt in a wound
that never healed— those yearbook faces
that flaunt what happened one night
in the drive-in movie theatre.
One picture reminds me of another
in a kaleidoscopic parade down memory lane—
images of more dead friends and family than living.
I try to pin down the moment like a kung fu master.
Old photos, a buried pirate chest of memories
imprinted in my mind—like the time I thought of suicide
impinge on my eyes—reminds me not to doodle away my life,
how the energy of sex determined my choices.
I regret rejecting wholesome mid-western beauties
simply because the eyes of God closed their pelvic door—
with a mantra, singing: I can’t let you in until I see
the glow of a ring. Creative alternatives would have to do.
I see Father beaming with pride—his 12- year-old son
on the front page of a local newspaper reporting
his dash across Lake Huntington in a butterfly stroke.

My cousin sent back snapshots of his North African tour in ‘42—
fighting Rommel’s African Korps. There’s the Casablancan wife
he thought he could control like a woman in a Bedouin’s harem.
It was a marriage that soon fell apart.
The exploding hoopla of my graduating class in photos of classmates
at SUI— throwing caps in the air in ‘53. Father unemployed at the time,
parents couldn’t afford the fare for a trip to Iowa City.
Pictures of my wedding in the foreign land of Bnei Brak in ‘60—
my folks missing again. Observant relatives I barely know
dance the Hora in a moment of joyous celebration.