Object Permanence

/ /

Because you haven’t yet developed faith That what you see at nightfall will return At dawn, when time begins again, it’s death You nightly learn

To dread, like the recurrence of a dream In which your father or your mother stands And takes you (singing every time the same Unmeaning sounds)

Upstairs into the reeling hall that slides With horrifying slowness toward that room Peopled with deaf-mute mammals on all sides, Dim as the womb,

Where you are left to beg and, helpless, watch As warmth and human touch and hope retreat Into the dark, which, closing with a latch, Becomes complete.

No one can hear, but you cry anyway For more time in the world you hardly knew, Here in the body one momentous day We loved as you.