By Jonas Lamb, Juneau
What it sees is not insignificant
though at such scale and magnification
we likely seem so much less than small.
These bodies, their dark openings
where we let in the light.
Despite all our ruminations,
our labors— blunt and bizarre
we do not sparkle but blend
in against the backdrop of beaten earth.
Despite its many lenses and complex iris
diaphragm mechanism it fails to see
how we struggle to see beyond ourselves,
our mass myopic outbreak
and the shimmer of our glass hand-held windows.
In all that it sees and stores in its deep memory
of spooled film—- high altitude scans,
the devil-like details—-the fine print
of our text messages and tweets
the profundity of our mobile friendly pornography
it does not see us
not seeing or hearing
the whir of its motor
the hiss of its rollers.
Perhaps from bird’s-eye
we are seen as benign.
IMAGE CAPTION: The diagram preceding Lamb’s poem shows how film was stored and exposed in reconnaissance cameras. A pair of spools fed and took up the film, which was stretched flat over an opening in the camera body. To record images, the film received light through the lens below when the shutter was opened. (U.S. Air Force photo)