He survives

Pairs of open eyes
on aging paper
Familiarity smiles up
but I avoid her gaze

She is not my face
her story is not my story
These frames are stuttered
and too still to be real
Tarnished by the synthetic closeness
that happened before

Immortalised they judge
when I can’t summon the courage
to reach her

She doesn’t belong to me
but the agony of each shot remains
Even as I try to incinerate
those searing visions

I am bereft
I am lonely
I’m fragmented

Because she is dead
and he survives
in sickening flashes

I look up, shaking
I see him
I smell him
I feel him
and I am terrified
because he survives.

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Photo credit: Kirsty Hom, Creative Commons

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