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"Tintype-A Human Heart" (by Joe DiMino)

The etching point
Of emotion-
A dark plate
For splash of light-
Stillness the contrast…
Tintype-a human heart…

I have an old Tintype,
A soldier and his lovely lady;
Radiant a pair as one would
Like to see,
When thinking of love
And what love should be-
Now both long gone,
The photo faded somewhat,
But fine enough for me.

The hand-painted colors
A bit muted,
Steels acid reaction to time
And pigment-
My own spots just as real
An acid reaction
To light and what I reject
In the name of image-
An ongoing transparency,
At times more evasive
Then illumining,
More the nature of prying,
Not at all caressing as silk
Contours to the human form,
Hugs without disturbing
The sleek, smooth
Nakedness inside-

Him, the handsome young soldier
In just right uniform,
Her, wearing a bonnet
With flowers made of ribbon,
Not a thorn to surprise-
On a white bench in a garden
Somewhere long ago,
We know they lived and cherished
One another,
And knew in their hearts
The photo sighs
"Only Tintypes never cry."