Finding Truth in a Darkroom

Am I the only one who misses film? Settling into the afternoon and thinking how much I miss the surprise of a new roll of film. I found an old roll sitting in my purse this morning, which I think was from a weekend trip to Portland, Maine. I wonder if it is still good? I wonder if there are any places left that will process it? I wonder what our faces will look like if I do get the prints made….

Finding Truth in a Darkroom

My eyes are a
shutter open as the world blurs by
and when I blink,
I capture your face in
black and white clarity—
your scars
etched carefully on film.

Then, if I use the technique
of solarization
I learned many years ago,
your expression can be exposed,
naked print facing forward,
before a flash of light.

Negatives will
become positives
by chance, in chaotic fashion,
you can’t know exactly
how it will turn out.

At first thought,
the Sabatier effect
may suggest a complete darkening,
a wasted effort,
but no, instead your face appears—
your pupils brightly opposite.


  1. Linda says:

    Yeah, I miss film, miss smelling that acetic acid smell of the developing solution, seeing images appear under swells of water. Last line is killer. Peace, Linda

  2. jlcosta says:

    thank you Linda, I appreciate it! there is no place where time flies faster than in a darkroom

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