The Picture

There are few pictures of me
Self conscious, I try to stay behind the camera
There’s one, though—
I’m standing in the doorway of your dorm room
Twenty years old
Black hat bought in England, my eyes half hidden under the brim
Black leather jacket, shining in the flash’s light
My hair long and dyed red
My skin pale, white as my t-shirt
My braces-straitened teeth stained yellow from coffee

I was smiling
I thought you loved me

I know better now
I smile less
And stay behind the camera

First published in The Daedalus, Spring 2001.

Mary Jones © 2003