You think you know my camera well.
The Nikon F2, the reliable silver one, the one I carried
For years with me to weddings, birthdays,
holidays, the convocations of favourite nieces.
To the gushing Merlion, to the National Day Parade,
to the sunset views from the Benjamin Sheares bridge.
To our vacation on the island of Mauritius
where we made much love and swam together
in a picture-perfect blue-green sea. To all our days
together that mattered, and to those that didn’t.
Wherever we went, that old camera came along
like a silent witness, preserving what I saw
through its clear lens. At home, you browsed through
the thick collections of our days and seemed surprised
by how people were always happy, smiling,
looking the right way. Even inanimate objects like rocks,
flowers and the white sands of beaches took on
a calm, benign personality. They seemed to assert
that the world was full of love and other good things
and would stay that way. You did not understand
my art. You did not know what my hands and eye
had done to those moments, how this camera had closed
in what it wanted to see. With care and precision.
With a skill I’d honed for years and practised,
almost like deceit.