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  • I didn't catch her name. I didn't catch many names. I wish I had. I wish I had just asked, spoken up, communicated more. I remember her leaning into his camera, mesmerised.

    I think it's one of my favourites, this photograph. There are so many beautiful ones that snatch me away from reality to remember. But this one especially.

    Her lips seem old as they settle perfectly beneath her wide nose, catching the sunlight on its tip; faint vertical lines running across her thin bottom lip while the lean shape of a seagull best describes her top. They touch, leaving no room for her teeth to shine, but at the same time, locking in all reason for her happiness to fade.

    Even her eyes smile. A pure white light resonates from the bed of rich brown colour that holds her inflated pupils, just as they hold me. Thick lines curve across her cheek, and I imagine them as creases, the fold of a thousand smiles into her face. A thousand miraculous smiles, flawless and free, completely embedded into this single photograph.

    I stare into those eyes and ask how somebody so young, yet so lost, so poor, lacking so much can find the time to smile. Is it innocence? Is it not knowing anything else?

    Hope. That's my best guess. And even if it isn't, I think that's what it represents.

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