Two Photographs by Chim, 1945
Blind Armless Boy Learning to
The question--Why?--is not his. He
Read With His Lips
wants to recognize something as clear
as the words of the world thudding
or ringing in his ears. To etch the darkness
with meaning, depth, and shape
like a well replenishing itself,
day after day to forge a link in himself
of that invisible substance only death
or madness can break, connect to the chain
of the world he came from before
he drowned and floated up into out of abyss.
To cover the abyss with his dead eyelids.
Death-Camp Child Drawing a
You cannot imagine her eyes when she is asked
Picture of Home
to draw a picture of home.
Ask a starving child,
who has lived through unquestioning obedience,
to give her only piece of bread away for no reason.
The lines she draws are like wiry tangles of yarn
without any direction. And when she finishes
and turns to her questioner for help, to say,
to tell you what you want to know though I don't
understand what I think you mean, and I can never
explain. Am I close? Will you tell me again what
And that is when Chim shot her,
his camera freezing her there, lost,
in the mazes of history.