Instructions for a Black and White Photograph
1. Keep distance in.
2. Angle a white cloth in the foreground of the interior front door.
3. The door open. The floor broad wooden planks.
4. Long view of the back window, its brittle whiteness holding one bare tree, a form of grace or hiding.
5. Who lives here?
6. What place is not an oblique place?
7. So many crooked footsteps leading to the doorway, invisible presences, sealed envelopes, dissolving words.
8. Molecules colliding, creating a steady pressure on the walls.
9. Mute angle of light across the floor (So like a sleeping body).
10. What will chance bring? What will the shadows bring?
11. The white cloth bunched and crumpled, a desolate or joyful love, a body remembering something it can't speak, no mouth to it, its cadences phantomed and gathered away -
12. Keep distance in. Keep silence.
13. Who lives here?
14. (The shadows are articulate although they will not speak.)
--Laurie Sheck, from Black Series