As the ramps were lowered and the air turned lead
and the marines before him dropped into the water,
that those photographs he took -
no time to set aperture or exposure, just shoot and shoot -
would be printed by some lad, barely sixteen in 'Life's' office.
That he'd overheat the negative strips, blister the silver,
melt the emulsion, until their frozen fires caught
and smoked from under the dark room door.
That of the two rolls taken only seven would remain,
their skies heat-blurred, given starbursts of light
and their surfaces grazed to describe so perfectly
the confusion of that day, when a generation's men
stepped out on Europe's shores
to fall headlong through the trapdoor of war.