Beside Sally Mann’s Father’s Crick

A photo of my mother,
It is always a photo of someone’s mother,
And she is the delicate angel of everyone’s desire,
The sand, the beach chair, the waves of water,
All lapping towards her,
Gravity works sideways – and your eyes,
Three men in striped beach chairs,
White v-neck t-shirts or are they crew neck does it matter,
Cans of Carlsberg beer,
Clenched in sweaty palms,
Cigarettes and pipes – everyone smoked tobacco in 1964.
Their eyes like antenna bobbing towards you,
Always you.
My mother smiles for the camera and says “fuck you”
Her ruched blue floral swimsuit says “fuck you”,
Her lips say “fuck you”.
Maybe I’m imagining this, because actually she was so Southern polite.
The middle man is my father,
He leers towards my mother,
His friend to the left leers towards my father and his wife,
The man on the right leers inwards, drool covering his balls,
The camera man leers towards all four,
And I watch.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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