Aphorisms for Jerome Liebling’s Photograph, “Young woman, West Side,
St. Paul, 1956”
Subtlety is a bemused cat that glowers
at acceleration. A bright voice
never wakes up a dilemma.
When eyes stiffen with immortality,
we reach that midpoint in development
between curious and mean. Slough
off trouble for a workaday glamour.
Two pencils within reach
of a relaxed fist: Japanese Buddhism!
Dot your long-sleeved shirt
with small billiard ball eyes
and all your buttons
will turn to dimes. Anxiety:
a gold hoop earring
that never recharges
in the sun.