It’s all a matter of focus, f-stop.
In high school photography class
we’d stand for hours in darkrooms
hands swirling the chemical vats,
summoning ghosts. Infrared
bulbs hung from the ceiling
and the door had a porthole
like a submarine. Inside
we wore protective goggles,
white smocks stained with Kool-Aid-
red developer. We’d hang
our photographs to dry, and the next day
usher them out into the officious
blaze of the classroom for critique.
I liked hiding in there, making friends
with darkness. It helped me prepare
for much darker rooms that would come later.
My daughter reminds me it’s Father’s Day
here in Italy. She says, “I’ll bake you a cake
with mom. Or maybe make a tiramisù.”
“I’d like that,” I say. And I can’t remember
the last time I celebrated Father’s Day
with my own father. I was so young.
He was so young.
© Marc Alan Di Martino
Marc Alan Di Martino is a Pushcart-nominated poet, translator and author of the collection Unburial (Kelsay, 2019). His work appears in Baltimore Review, Rattle, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, Valparaiso Poetry Review and many other journals and anthologies. His second collection, Still Life with City, will be published by Pski’s Porch in 2021. He lives in Italy.