The Stolen Camera
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Since the camera was stolen
everything is a photograph—
pink bloom against white stucco,
serious face of the potato chip man
leaning over his cart.
In the square, gypsies with brilliant skirts
twirl among palm trees.
I reach for the camera, to hand it to you,
but it is gone, stolen by a thief
who knows nothing of lenses.
Are you thinking of the camera?
I ask you once,
and you nod.
You will not mention it.
Two days ago you caught
the shriveled saint who kissed your hand,
the Twins of Bougainvillea laughing
in their windowsill
Your camera had careful eyes,
and now the pictures are stolen inside it,
babies who will never be born.
How would I feel if they stole my pens?
My lips would go on making words,
when I crossed the dappled street,
words everywhere, steps
or yellow leaves.
Today we pass the monastery silently.
Maybe we are soaking up light,
brief angles of sun on stone.
Maybe tonight when we sleep
all we have seen will arrange itself
inside us, quick trails of stars,
and we will wake glowing,
the world in our eyes.