The Photograph of Marilyn Monroe, 6 May 1957

“And when the night was over and the white wine was over and the dancing was over, she sat in the corner like a child, with everything gone.” Richard Avedon

Smile please,

say cheese,

and smile we do,

and cheese we say,

and the shutter clicks.

It’s only one hundred and twenty-fifth

of a second.

Smile please,

say cheese,

the gaping album opens wide,

with gaping smiles from side to side,

as we dissimulate.

And all our smiles are seen as true,

because the camera never lies,

but the photo Avedon took

is not the smile and not the eyes,

or the wine or dancing wild,

much less the dress and what it says

but just a photo of the child.