Illustration by Isabel Mitchelson
You liked the winter.
The rain slating my face and hair,
The ice that dragged my mind down cleared yours.
Where you saw clear skies I saw deceit-
It should be warm,
but instead I need layers.
You were the best coat, zipped tight
Trapped, I realise now, by the burden
Of keeping my mind in summer
When all you needed was the clarity of clear winter skies.
Now another few months of cold rain,
Memories of pain pummelling me
Relentless as the dull grey of winter.
You wrote poetry
I thought it was about me
It was about her
Anger flowing through my arm
To my fingertips
Pulsing past that part of my wrist where
the veins make it blue
Trying to burst out of my nails in violence
that doesn’t belong to me
In a red haze
To make you hurt like you hurt me
in that moment when I crouched on your carpet
Drowning in shock
Pulling my hair
Nails scratching my scalp, blood pumping, anger overflowing
But overflowing isn’t a big enough word
There isn’t a big enough word
My own work is self-labelled as documentary photography, out of a lack of a better title. By carrying a camera daily, I aim to embody the spirit of the Brownie in making the means to photography ready to me at every moment, without obstruction – by doing so, I can take a photograph of anything that captures my eye and interests me enough to preserve. Any of us can do this these days, with a camera readily available in our pockets around the clock – and many of us do so without even thinking about it. Next time you take your phone out to take a photograph, whether it is of your friends or of something that caught your eye, think about how you are participating in the act of documenting your life through photography. Make prints of your favourites, display them on your walls, share them with your friends and family. Follow the tradition of those who came before you and took their own snapshots documenting their lives. Everyone is a documentary photographer today, and this is a good thing.