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Camera Obscura

William Doreski

Claustrophobic in a passage

between brick and clapboard walls,


I observe a slot of street,

hoping this narrow focus


will help me to understand

random arrangements of objects


clustered in the broader world.

A pale truck parked at the curb,


a white two-story house, a slice

of apartments towering beyond.


Two black exclamations

of chimney suggest excitements


I can’t define. Power lines web

the sky at the mouth of the passage.


I could shrug back into the light,

ascend the few steps to the street,


and resume my three dimensions.

But in this slender place I’m flat


enough to escape myself;

so why reckon with textures


rougher than brick and clapboard,

and space too great for me to fill?

William Doreski's work has appeared in various literary journals and collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (Splash of Red, 2018).

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