Kertesz’s photograph of Martinique

by Martha Ronk

A shadow on the other side of the glass, neither male nor female,
seems a narrative the amorphous clouds and indeterminate sea resist,

as the sky lifts or darkens in the upper reaches,
in response to the dark sea forming a triangle with the fence line,

and the leaning shadow behind the frosted glass,
can’t see out, or is rapt in what view he thinks he has

—we can’t know—yet we do know his view is not the same as ours,
angled in relation to what draws us both, the obvious sea and sky.

It could be murky given the frosted glass, placed to his side, yet
not melancholy—

(although Kertesz himself used the word for his tulip drooping
lower than the base of the vase by a severe gravitational force).

Last updated December 07, 2022