Natasha Trethewey

7. Photography

October 1911

Bellocq talks to me about light, shows me
how to use shadow, how to fill the frame
with objects—their intricate positions.
I thrill to the magic of it—silver
crystals like constellations of stars
arranging on film. In the negative
the whole world reverses, my black dress turned
white, my skin blackened to pitch. Inside out,
I said, thinking of what I’ve tried to hide.
I follow him now, watch him take pictures.
I look at what he can see through his lens
and what he cannot—silverfish behind 
the walls, the yellow tint of a faded bruise—
other things here, what the camera misses.