Like a land-locked sea, slowly drying up
from the edges in, till just
a splash of its former self-your long dead relations
the island survivors you knew them-
this old photo, gnawed by light, fades away.
Here, in pearls, is your lovely mother.
In starched collar, your matinee-idol father.
Here, your aunt, before spinsterhood set in
poising primly before the prom.
And the furniture!
It has everything to do with the light:
the fingers of the light rub the borders of the lake
like Time. And chemistry, that we must also say,
without knowing why.
Anyhow, it fades,
Inevitably, for hide it,
hang it in the dark or otherwise
dilute the light, it still
slides in like a tide, a drop-off, reaching,
in a century or so, their knees.
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