On Seeing a Nude Self-Portrait of Imogen Cunningham
I like to think of her naked
setting up the tripod, adjusting
the camera angle and lens.
She lies on her stomach in the grass,
her face turned away, her hair
a complicated knot at the neck.
Everything is darker than her skin:
the long grass, the leaves
sharp-edged beside her, then
blurring to indiscriminate brush.
Even the sky and dandelions
gone to seed cannot hold light
the way her body can.
That's why she took off her clothes.
Not because it was August
with its brunt of summer heat,
but because she wanted to print
the brilliance we bear on our bones.
Poems by Melody Lacina:
for Comet Hyakutake
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets