I have seen wondrous images ghost their way
toward a representation of truth or something
like it while they bathed in trays filled with what
might have been black magic and tiny drops
of time passing. I have seen the merest traces
of light prophesy darkening shadows
beneath the safelight and I have tasted
the slow teasing impressions gathering
in the chemistry like revelations. I have
watched and waited and in the waiting
have remembered that this is the way
revelation always comes to me—not
in pixelated flashes of insight but in
nine zones of emerging detail
witnessed under a dim red glow.
by Kenneth Salzmann, first published in Third Wednesday.
Editor’s note: The careful enjambment keeps the reader engaged with unexpected choices that forces rereading, lest one miss a revelation—this poem’s central theme.