Trewartha, Gerald, Felix, Windy,
I see you ascending the stairs
From the Main Hall to heaven,
A place which I now understand
Is the school's upper floor, only bigger;
Ascending through clouds
In the era of pre-dustless chalk
To that rarefied zone
Where even if is absolute.
As the organist stumbles
Once more through the last verse
Of Lord Receive Us With Thy Blessing,
You go with the rags of your gowns still about you,
Stacks of North and Hillard in your arms,
Making for your far-off rooms
To wipe the board and start again
With the verb for I carry,
The noun meaning table.
I go to every room at once
And I still cannot listen,
Remember or scan, and the table's
Still strapped to my back.
When you ask me again what the subject might be
In this sentence, I still cannot answer -
O'Brien, it's not the full stop -
And still make the foolish suggestion
That sirs, in a sense, there is none,
Phenomenologically speaking, that is.
When the stare you award me
Takes longer than Rome did
To flower and vanish, I notice
The bells are not working in heaven today.
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