Threshold, 1947, gelatin silver print. Manuel Alvarez-Bravo, 1902-2002, Mexican.  Chicago Museum of Art.


The photograph was taken by a Mexican.

The poet is North American.  Sea to shining sea/be all you can be routine.


I am Ethiopian by blood.  We are landlocked.  But I am letting that pass.  And I am letting pass that it is hard to take a risk if you live in a state of lesser or greater insecurity from birth to death.  


And this insecurity exists on every continent for millions of people.


But I do so like the photographs of Manuel Alvarez-Bravo.


And I do understand that the poet is speaking metaphorically.






Maggie Smith, American born 1977



You want a door you can be

            on both sides of at once.

                       You want to be

           on both sides of here

and there, now and then,

            together and—(what

                       did we call the life

            we would wish back?

The old life? The before?)

            alone. But any open

                       space may be

            a threshold, an arch

of entering and leaving.

            Crossing a field, wading

                       through nothing

            but timothy grass,

imagine yourself passing from

            and into. Passing through

                       doorway after

            doorway after doorway.