An Apache chief stares into the camera three days before he is killed. Your empty palm rises in the air, the door creaking, your aging body asking for elegance. This opening is forgotten when light descends to cut the frame for the door — the invention of churches forgiven after the door is closed. If you get there, your fingers trace the postcard of the Apache taped on your mirror, a surge of sparrows ascending in patterns impossible to read.
Don’t hold the photo for one hundred years.
Fingerprints on the ivory doorknob are left by a spirit hovering in the doorway. These are choices from the night before. One is a Kachina doll wrapped in a box, its arms broken off, the bringer of gifts not knowing the difference between giving and reaching out. The second is the forest floor — sun, some leaves, the crackling underfoot making you stop, your camera focusing on a running figure found in your archival papers one hundred years from now.
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