Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

in the passport photo museum (2006)

i met him in the passport photo museum
in the anonymous wing. it was a tuesday.
the walls are black. the tiny photo frames are white.
we examined each other like fresh exhibits.
we were fluent face-readers, so we said nothing,
had already twitch-exchanged that information;
acknowledged a mutual gift from a deaf god.

sometimes the vagaries of fate assume a shape;
inspiral sets of circumstances curve in tight
to a moment, a flashbulb point where lives collide
and heads are frozen while the threads change direction.
we did not speak. thoughts were broadcast to emulsion.

exposing hope to us like an eastmanly host
were ranks of turning points. our nameless witnesses.

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