Custody

After I scrimped and saved at Christmastime
to buy the latest rechargeable digital
so small it fit
into his twelve year old palm and the pocket of his skinny jeans
today
on his 13th birthday
the X drapes his old 35 millimetre single lens reflex
Vivatar around junior’s neck.

Film
developing
batteries
flash
who’s gonna pay for all that?!

Junior is convinced
this old camera takes better pictures, mom,
because

the old man told him so.

Here’s the thing –
That old camera strap
the bright woven 1970s contraption
hanging now
reminding
me now
of all the pictures
he never snapped of me.
All the shots of his past lovers
kept in an old suitcase,
with a rope handle,
he scored at the Ex a million years ago
around the time
he bought the camera.

Before my time.

If these memories were photographs
I’d burn them.

I’m surprised by the flash
and how quick the shutter
snaps on my serenity.
My heart rasps like a rusty mechanism
I’m overexposed to this collapse.