Warren Slesinger, SNAPSHOTS



Snapshot (snap.shot) n-s. 1. A light

that blinked like a heartbeat when his

mother held the camera to her breast.

  1. A trim fit in a tight place on a piece

of coated paper. 3. A picture of a boy

behind the glass, as flat in its frame

as a window with a fingerprint on it,

if only he could turn to the touch.

  1. How a motorboat sped by a row

of summer cottages, and the camera

caught the crest of a wave that crashed.


Snapshot (snap.shot) n-s. 1. A boy

snatched by a small plastic “instamatic”

camera. 2. The one in a cotton shirt

and a pair of shorts before he set the hook,

the bobber stopped, and the net stretched

from now to then. 3. How his mother

framed his face with her hands when he

asked if I still loved him. 4. The way

a cloud above a lake and a boat in a dock

brought it back when it was utterly still.


Snapshot (snap.shot) n-s. 1. A flash

and click of a hand-held camera like

a box for the eye with a button on it.

  1. The lens that enlarged a boy who

blinked and cried when I backed out

of the driveway, the marriage to his

mother and their lives. 3. A picture

in a frame on the table as if the past

and present remain in the same place,

or home a house in the background.

  1. The child I thought I left behind

until I caught him crying again.








Warren Slesinger, MEMORY

Yes, it’s you

who eyes the cherry,

only the red-fleshed

fruit isn’t tart

or juicy


when your tongue

slips under one,

and you can’t bite

into it or spit

out the pit,


if the cherry

on its stem

only hangs in

your memory

and yet,


such a sweetness!