I'd have a decent career as a spy,
Or a vampire.
When somebody draws a camera or a gun
I don't run, but I do vanish.
Some people believe that photographs can steal your soul,
But souls probably don't goddamn exist.
Some people have an image to construct,
An immaculate self-sculpture that they build from their flesh,
But my face is the same gargoyle as yesterday.
I disappear because a picture is a first step,
In the same way that hot words tend towards hard blows.
If I bought a dog bowl, you'd expect an oafish puppy stumbling round me.
If I lit a match, you'd expect a hissing fire.
If you took a picture of me,
You'd expect to get to know me,
Or to remember me,
Or to think about me.
I've watched through the fishbowl as you take your selfies,
Collect your little memoirs,
Build your digital scrapbook.
I just don't grok it.
You're building warehouses of memories that I want forgotten.
You're collecting faces that I want to avoid.
You're pastiching togetherness with a button and a flash.
If I painted my face, I'd paint it in every subtly-different shade of grey, and
Burn it so you never realized what my mind looks like.
A living brain is pink, but
A preserved brain is grey.
And you can’t preserve anything forever.
If you took a picture of me
And left out the filter,
You might look at me and wonder
If I have a filter.
I have more filters than Photoshop;
You could make coffee for years with me.
I'd hate for them to be stripped away.
You'd have to stab me in the head,
Peel back the layers of my skin,
And look at my mummified brain.
The worst part,
Aside from the formaldehyde stench and the inevitable mess,
Is that you wouldn't find anything.