local_library Reflection while photographing your legs

by Alan Girling

Published in Issue No. 268 ~ September, 2019

Reflection while photographing your legs
after Le gambe di Martine, by Henri Cartier-Bresson (France), 1967


May I imagine

what happened

between the moment

some small time ago

when you lowered your lovely frame

to the divan

and this moment

that I find you in now?


May I attempt
to sequence the increments correctly—

how you had to have first

lowered yourself

slide neatly against the backrest

to and recline in comfort

your legs stretched out?


How you must have

done a little shimmy

to adjust your dress

so as not to reveal

too much thigh

on which you would soon place
the novel you are now reading


how you would have leaned

toward the low table

to reach that novel

your latest romance

(or is it your Proust?)

to draw it into the range of your vision

open it to the approximate page

and attend fully to the words


how as you became absorbed

in the flow of the story

the meander of sentences

your heart would have started

to beat just a little faster

your breathing to come

just a little more erratically

and how tiny pulses of electricity

surely ran through your body

the slightest tingle


causing your hip to shift then jut

your legs so smooth and slender
to cross then intertwine

in a close tight braid?


And may I anticipate now

the look on your face

when finally you lift your eyes

and see me before you


how you will seem

not annoyed but pleased

and perhaps request

that I lay my camera down

and join you on the divan

where I too will recline

legs stretched out


and you will allow me

as you read

to adjust your dress

to lightly caress your thigh
but not to disturb too much
until eventually the braid is loosened

words abandoned

and you are ready

to flow toward

the love you are

at this moment



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Alan Girling writes poetry mainly, sometimes fiction, non-fiction, or plays. His work has been seen in print, heard on the radio, at live readings, even viewed in shop windows. Such venues include Blynkt, Panoply, Hobart, The MacGuffin, Smokelong Quarterly, FreeFall, Galleon, Blue Skies, and CBC Radio among others. He is happy to have had poems place in four local poetry contests and to have a play produced for the Walking Fish Festival in Vancouver, B.C.