Daguerreotype

Unfair, a lie. The baby was not gray
Nor smaller than thimbles. When was the world
Opal and milk, chalk and gray?
It is the photographer who cheated,
Making mummies for rosewood cameras,
Making tombs of metal glass
With the mother inside like a secret in a basket;
Or mourners, white statues in other photographs
Rimmed with carbuncles and pins.
He wizened what he saw, and hid in oval boxes
Infinitesimal children and flat people
Who question us with human eyes,
“Will all days, all days and fires turn
To ashes and distinct ashes?”