Each morning she enters the dark room.
Canisters of film, yesterday’s memories,
waiting to be developed.
She puts on her gloves and prepares
the chemicals in their trays. Developer,
stop bath, fixer, all carefully measured.
She sorts through the captured images.
In this one she is walking to the car,
her hair blowing in the wind, sun shining.
He is waiting for her, on their way
to the beach. She smiles, thinking maybe
he is watching her, maybe he is glad.
Her smile fades as she gets closer
and sees his eyes diverted as usual
to something more interesting on his phone.
This is the moment she wants to keep.
She holds it to the light until it transfers.
Develop it. Stop it in time. Fix it to the page.
Each step she agitates with the liquids.
Finally, the picture crystal clear and dry,
she will add it to the stack marked negatives.