In the bottom of a cardboard box,
a photograph of a girl.
She’s fixed in that one-hundredth of a second
– a sketch, a pencil of lines and light
on the cusp of adolescence.
I want to reverse engineer her,
pull her apart piece by piece,
see what made her tick,
discover if imitation is possible.
Because decades on,
I can look in any mirror and see her face
dressed in the contours and constraints
of adulthood, and not find her.