by David Tait

when you took me i was underdeveloped,
exposed in too much light or too little –
a shadowed face smudging slabs of white sky.

in night portraits your cold flash was brittle,
though you kept me and i slowly emerged –
my face staring out from amphibious red light

in snapshots taken by friends at golden acre park,
or by you in the dales or on bonfire night –
my cheeks splintering, crackling with sparks.

but problems were posed when we had to develop,
we widened our exposure and filtered the lens.
you blew up our flaws on a mattress sized canvass

as false smiles slipped through your slow shuttered sieve.
i looked miserable afterwards when you took me naturally
at a table, in a cafe or on a friend’s birthday night –

so our albums are filled with billions of sad pixels
in images curdling under developing light,
we glare out of my frame in colour, black and white.

David Tait lives in Leeds and is working on his first collection of poems.


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