She keeps a collection of pictures of herself with others in her room. Some are of old barely forgotten boyfriends. They are in an envelope under a box on top of a bureau. She’ll shows them to the new boy, editing out the precious ones, and the dangerous skin embarrassing intimate nudity camera play photos. She shows the most model-like ones, and the “glint in her eye pictures”, shuffling past her own provocative image over and over. She flips through the photos quite madly now. Here she’s leaning against a fence with a different hair cut in the summer. Green trees surround her. She holds a white cat in another. An old boyfriend wonders in during a snapshot captured forever. Here her eyes gleam like a devil girl in the shade. It’s a tease, over and over again. A picture of an old bicycle with a special name: “Gertrude”. She stuffs the photographs back in the envelope. Her wash lies unfolded, piled on the mattress below the bureau. A few scattered books. A couple of kooky hats on hooks by the window. A fragile God’s Eye above the doorway. The new boy must leave.

There’s a photo pinned to the wall of her father from the 60’s in a bright white t-shirt, almost smiling. Telephone poles stretch out across a plain. A dustbowl of a town. She loves that one the most. The new boy kisses her on the lips twice and once angelically on her forehead, parting her hair gently. He leaves and his smile fades through the crack in the door. The new boy wonders down the stairs and out into the street at night, thinking of traps, and his own old pictures of traps.

X..F. Pine