Comment from the photographer, James Bernal, on his selection: “It might come from my background of reading into photographs and making up little stories about the subjects, but I loved everything about ‘Clean White Sheets.’ It was very funny but also very real and honest—I almost feel as though the author truly knew something I didn’t about the recently deceased. I feel like I know who that person was and the life he lived and that he was loved. Thanks M, I’ll never be able to look at this photo without imagining a lonely night at Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn.” (website)
Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of our quarterly Ekphrasis Challenge, in which we ask poets to respond to an image provided by our current issue’s cover artist. This winter, the image was a mysterious photograph by James Bernal. We received 294 entries, and the artist and Rattle‘s editor each chose their favorite. Timothy Green’s choice will be posted next Saturday. For more information on the Ekphrasis Challenge visit its page. See other poets’ responses or post your own by joining our Facebook group.