In Time

by Ericka Buitenhuis

Just before the click of the shutter,
my finger always flutters for a second—
realizing the opportune presence of what I’m about to do.

What makes this moment any different from the rest?

Aren’t they all just fractals of light,
niblets of sound waves,
and glimpses of emotion?

Why freeze this one in a photo-carbon display case—
a two-dimensional window
transporting retrospective neurons
back to a specific grain of time?

We go back to faces and places
our bodies know we knew,
yet find ourselves
physically unable to wander beyond that border—
except perhaps,
in our mind.

Why choose this one to savor,
letting it linger on our tongue
like the last bite of birthday cake—bittersweet morbidity.

Time will not stop,
but that doesn’t mean it won’t look over its shoulder.

You understand, don’t you?
There is great power unleashed as that index finger makes a snow angel in time.

For when we are dead and gone,
they will look—they will ask—
this one?

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