it's him, that just-
too-casual shopper in the act
of leaving, the store-walker's hand
on his shoulder, consequential
as love's first touch...

Or him, the kid
who appeared in the shot
behind us and between us
like the unborn brother if we both
had had we'd find ourselves

related and wouldn't
our parents be surprised? Or
even the bin man stoking his truck
alongside, and we never noticed
- as if they'd had, all

these, no third dimension,
no mass on the air, in our moment
but only in face of the camera,
its second-sight-hindsight,
how maybe it's theirs,

the story, and we
are extras, here to walk off
muttering our rhubarbs,
empty vowels to fill our mouths
with something: or, or, or.

Philip Gross