This poem was prompted and sponsored by nhpeacenik.
The psychic photographer does not know
why people are following her.
She isn't very good yet --
she needs to work on her focus,
and she needs to improve her framing,
and when she tries to put her finger on what's wrong
it shows up on the film.
But people are following her anyway.
At first she eludes them by luck.
Then she eludes them with foresight,
snapping images of where they will be
so she can be somewhere else.
When she catches one of them
passionately kissing his mistress
she gets an idea.
That's the first photo that she sells to a tabloid
before the event in question actually happens.
The timing, she discovers, is tricky.
She has to release the incriminating evidence
early enough to be impressively predictive,
but not so early that the victim can spot it
and avoid fulfilling it.
As she studies her stalkers more carefully,
she begins to lose interest in racehorses
and partial lottery numbers.
Instead she learns what they do
when they're not chasing her,
where they work, what they fear.
She learns they are hired by politicians
and by the military,
and that spooks -- like cockroaches --
are terrified of the light.
Smiling, the psychic photographer
visualizes exchanging her long telephoto lens
for a short-range zoom
and a flashbulb.