Vanishing point

Each photograph has
a vanishing point
where parallel lines converge,
and vision disappears.
Is it in front -
or behind -
what you see?
If behind you,
over your shoulder,
then the image radiates out
from your eye,
and gives the comforting illusion
that you center things,
hold together
all you see.

But if that vanishing point
Isn't in your eye at all,
but behind the image,
then the photograph
becomes an opening
in the veil of vision
and you are an outsider
looking in,
afraid to touch,
terrified of the plunge
into what lies beyond
what you see,
those stories you tell yourself
to feel safe,
outside that landscape
you've drawn to live in
so carefully.

Maybe you'll only know
when you fire the shutter,
fall headlong into your lens,
pour your heart out
onto the film.

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C Lenore Horowitz, 2001