the only parts of the body the same
size at birth as they’ ll always be.
“That’ s why all babies are beautiful,”
Thurber used to say as he grew
blind — not dark, he’ d go on
to explain, but floating in a pale
light always, a kind of candlelit
murk from a sourceless light.
He needed dark to see:
for a while he drew on black
paper with white pastel chalk
but it grew worse. Light bored
into his eyes but where did it go?
Into a sea of phosphenes,
along the wet fuse of some dead
nerve, it hid everywhere and couldn’ t
be found. I’ ve used up
three guesses, all of them
right. It’ s like scuba diving, going down
into the black cone-tip that dives
farther than I can, though I dive
closer all the time.