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Baby’s First Ekphrasis

My first photograph finds me squinting
1987 printed on my T-shirt, the fingers of my right hand
raised to my temple like a psychic who is trying to get
a reading on an audience member. I frown in concentration
so intense, it looks as if I might burst into tears at any
second, squinting into the dark beyond the spotlight.

Little has changed since the year of my birth to my firstborn’s.
I am still trying to read a face that lies beyond the range
of visible light. My irises stretch open in October
brightness. High wind hisses in oak leaves beyond
my comprehension. The red rash has left my cheeks
but the frown remains with the sense that something,
vague as it is, still needs to be said.

Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, in Blue Springs, Missouri. His poems have been or will be published in over 50 different magazines, including New Letters, pamplemousse, Fourth & Sycamore and TYPO. His first collection, Fall Risk, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press.

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