On Olive Cotton’s photograph of Max Dupain
summer curls from the page. he is back, skin taut with salt, half-smoked cigarette clenched in the vice of two fingers. blood still pounds to the muscular clutch of waves. back, in the dim room where she sleeps. naked. humid. sheets rumpled with sex pushed back. he grasps the wooden bed end half turns from her, back to the turmoil. light shafts from the window, a bright weight upon her. it is nineteen thirty nine. newly married, the horizon in his mind glitters with change. one of them will leave. max in chiaroscuro, his thoughts in shadow. waking, she thinks nothing is shuttered from her. she reaches for her camera. stay there, she whispers. stay like that.