“She Said” by Kathryn Dohrmann

for Lisel Mueller

A well-known, nearly blind poet
came for lunch and stayed the day.
She said I started out as a girl without a shadow,
in iron shoes. All afternoon,
summersweet’s fragrant fingers
crept through kitchen windows,
pinned us to the table.

Now, at the end of the world she said
I am a woman full of rain. She paused
a long moment in the doorway,
listening to the garden’s blooming,
buzzing confusions – murmurs of bees
and cutting wings, labors
of roots and smallest things.

She said what happens, happens in silence.
Yes – and here it happened
in darkness behind her eyes,
beyond the inner ear, in cadences
not yet spoken, not yet heard.
She said we are covered in stars.