The bulb popped and I went momentarily blind
as the Native American photographer
snapped a tintype portrait of me
sitting outside on a stool in the shade of the building.
He let me watch it develop inside
an ice fishing tent set up nearby.
In the tray of developing liquid,
my ghostly image appeared, floating
on the metal plate. Then he slid it into
a tray of fixer and I watched my face turn
from negative to positive, dark skin
becoming pale, silvery gray.
The flash had caught the right lens of my glasses
so it looked like I wore a glowing eyepatch
as I squinted up at myself with one good eye
from that muddy puddle of history