Vandana Khanna: After Developing

At first, simple—
me next to the Venus
with no arms, you

twisting my torso
for the photo so
I’m an imitation,

a crooked goddess.
Arms pinned behind
me like gnarled vines

grown thick by the side
of a country road,
my hands a clasp

of tangled root. We
wandered the city,

at the Rodin,
your chin heavy
upon fisted hand,

skin the bronze
before patina.
Strange comfort—

this reproduction,
driving us into
the rain-slick streets

at dusk. We had
the possibility
of becoming timeless—

but bones don’t
collapse so easily.
After developing,

what’s left but a replica,
imperfect, beautiful:
the finite dimensions

of film and body—
an artifact, an ache
knotting my back.

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