6.10 Tight Crop
The subway handrails take the square root of—I almost say his—body. And already I’ve said more about myself than I can of another. An other. What am I, a cop? Maybe it’s the too-long sleeves without hands, shoulders hunched for trudging. Or is the factorial of poverty the poverty of our imaginations, multiplied against themselves—
The stairs resemble so many equals signs stacked up one on top of another, as if equality goes on and on forever until it vanishes out of sight. That it diminishes as it goes is a trick of perspective: everything depends on where you’re standing.
Take the bystander at the summit of the staircase: drenched in light from the surface world, texting obediently, backpack filled with laptop/gym clothes/ceramic water bottle/headphones I’ve seen in commercials/$280 in cash just because/vape pen/diploma/keys to the kingdom.
That I can know even from this distance that his haircut costs more than my monthly EBT allotment also says more about me than it does about him. Every photograph is a mirror, duh. And a curation. Look: just around the corner, just outside the frame, beyond the boundary of tidy metaphor, the secret police is stuffing someone into a minivan.