Showers of snow geese.
Mirrors weren’t my friends anymore, couldn’t stand what they showed me, the changing flesh,
thinning hair that used to reach my knees, the drowning of names in a mud-thick water mind
the shorter breaths. But the voice of my ghost was kind. He told me it would end, soon. Touch me,
I begged. He didn’t but the geese began to rain every day, and I hummed for the blind to come near.
Showers of snow geese. The morning sky bled them, no one else noticed or was bothered. I
covered my eyes the way I always had when I passed any accident in the street, so afraid to see
anything dead. Afraid of winter branches, rotting gardens, abandoned houses. I hummed, like
the purr of a crone panther on her rock on a dry mountain. Hummed, so the blind came nearer.
You want so badly to be seen you’d paint eyes on the lids of the blind, my ghost said. A baritone,
sung between the notes of tumbling snow geese. He was my ghost, I heard him, I did what I was
told. Always so afraid to be near in any way—to what didn’t breathe. I wanted and needed to be seen
alive. Praised for being. For breathing, for not killing any enemies, for being a good girl, for being
a good woman, for becoming a knowing crone. You want so badly to be seen you would paint
eyes on the lids of the blind, the ghost had said. Yes, I mouthed. True.
My enemy had had a bad accident. The car had exploded on a curve and I crawled away. Soon,
the geese. Soon, my ghost. Soon, the rock on a slope of a sun-warm mountain and my own low
voice calling for the blind all night, until I was found holding a small white dog, my trembling
fingers stroking and stroking the lids of her chilled milk soft eyes.
I wanted to forgive something. Someone. I stroked the dog. I stroked my heart, until blindly it
broke all the way open, and one bird fell out. It was not blind. It was dead. But it hummed.