Shannon K. Winston In Which Self-Portraits Are Also About Others, or Ilse Bing’s Musings with Her Leica Camera
Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait in Mirrors, photograph,1931
Impossible. How can we ever fit
all the pieces of ourselves
into the same picture if we
are nothing but reflections that
stumble forth, awkward and unsure? We
leave only the smallest traces,
like the way light filters through
through our bodies—
veins, tiny inlets
like everyday miracles
trembling before us
let’s zoom in.
Let’s see the yet unseen.
Let’s be the projector and the screen.
Be the camera and the eye.
Can we see ourselves
in the center of this photograph
I sit with
one eye pressed into the lens
a telephone receiver
one eye gazing sidelong
the mirror in the foreground
captures it all
reflects our image back to us
against the static of the dial tone
in the crossings of glass, metal, flesh.
in these passageways
angels brush up against us
we try to make ourselves whole
again and again
stronger as before
only stranger. Other.
Issue 8 of the poetry and art journal The Inflectionist Review.