The backward gaze is not about the past,
the photograph not a record of who we were.
We look at grainy replicas of moments,
mirrorless reflections of what was,
and discover who we are now, how far we have changed.
We see the ghosts of identity,
clinging to life on crumbling paper,
and understand not what was,
but how that is not what we are now.
And those faces stare forward, fixed
in moments already lost before light fell across film,
unable to see who they will become,
not knowing the critical scrutiny they will use
upon themselves later. They will stare forever
at a present that faded long before,
their faces held by aging chemicals,
the mirror only ever allowing a one way gaze.