The One It Came All This Way For

we never could

still as horses we stood with
so much refuse in the air
& that smudge on the horizon       grey
with its phosphorescent blinks it will
not touch you they told us it will step       over
you like a bad luck crack   in the pavement
is how they said
is how we clapped our hands
used the crumbs of the storm to fly kites
& to what end             Oh
what trouble it was     was not
ours                 & so we spoke
no ill    we only watched         it come
& watched       it go
still as horses
& not as noble





look bet you 

know you can’t do it like I do it look how I did
what’s never been done so easily so pretty
too & bet you know it won’t be done like this again
bet you hate it how it looked like a yawn on an
afternoon, food in the refrigerator &
money in the bank though I’m a simple guy
all the furs & bright feathers won’t beat
the sunlight on my face like I’m the one it came
all this way for, light so fast its past already just
like the way I move, did you see that
did you catch it don’t blink like look I’m so pretty
any minute now I’ll be gone.





the dream of boxes

unreflected, half in shadow
two eyes behind glass, you do not see
what they hold now, what will be held
for what’s left of their lives –

has it come to this?
air forced in rubber bags
a signifier for celebration
a note under the door –

leave her alone
she has vivid dreams






 a silhouette is always
ready to wear.

 all those days with your back
to the camera,

a name is called & you
are not the named one,

you are not subject
only stranger this time

which is bearable
isn’t it,

it is built to last. odd
to put it that way, to say it

like that, but it meant
you could be anyone

which meant you
could be you.



This text was produced in collaboration with Magnum Photos for their Square Print Sale. All of the photographs featured are available to buy online from April 29 to May 5, 2024.

Feature Photograph © Abbas / Magnum Photos, A woman in a dust storm, a walking tree. Guerrero, Mexico, 1985
All photographs featured are courtesy of Magnum photos. 

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