23 April, 2012


Men and women,
thick and sinewy
in silver tones,
assemble the pieces:


The people,
like the automobiles they construct,
have a heft to them.
They fill their spaces solidly
as the image coalesces.

Photography started with ghosts.
Shadows caught in the long exposures
later begat certainties.
And amid the flood of images now,
ghosts of inconsequentiality.

You can believe
in these people,
in this image.
You know
they once stood this ground.
You know
their hands posses knowledge we lack.

How to build things?
Hands moving
as birds before winter.
or always known?

They do not stop for smiles,
strength and yet ease in their stance,
a natural testament
to something I can’t recognize
on this side of the century mark.

And then they vanish.
The spaces barren.
Even emptiness
cannot fully convey.

Their structures remain,
wounded and skeletal
Worn cadavers
Death is organic
and comes in stages.
Just as the worker is lost
without work
This place feels lost
without workers
The rag pickers
scour the battlefield
and leave the bloody corpses
to rot.