From the Drawer

I pulled this out to hang on a wall in my room. But the humidity in the drawer has damaged it. I won’t frame this photograph. I should have protected …

Illustration by Tanya Lam

I pulled this out to hang on a wall in my room.

But the humidity in the drawer has damaged it.

I won’t frame this photograph.

I should have protected it more carefully.

Those lips, that face—
for just one day, for one hour,
just, to return to the past.

I won’t frame this photograph.

I must suffer looking at its damaged state.

Besides, even undamaged
it would bother me to display, like some
word, some tone of voice laid bare—
what if someone asked about it?

This appeared in the January/February 2014 issue.

C. P. Cavafy

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