On Esther Bubley’s 1947 Photograph, “Greyhound Bus Terminal, New York City”

The station is full of men
in hats, pinstripe-serious,
pretending not to see
the angel with the camera.
Clock faces, solemn hands,
postures of business:
they are composed
as priests before the host.
Smoke hangs like incense, pregnant

pause: she startles
with a flash both urgent and divine,
a word that takes their voice away.
She leaves the image
of a man, the kernel
of a doubt, the wait,
the certainty of waiting.
Later, they will try to tell their wives
what silence means,

how to face the crowd without a tongue,
without a job to do, a God to represent.
But their wives already know –
speechless darkroom queens –
how gestation happens without light,
how words of man
don’t bring the world about,
the picture coming sharper, clear,
even as you are still.