Three poems by María C. Domínguez • Empty Mirror

helix iii / credit: dehelix iii / credit: de

A house with two cats

I have come here thinking
it was a home, a release even if rented
and the landlord is loud and flirts too much.
I took two aeroplanes, two red buses,
climbed a mountain on one side;
my body lighted as I arrived
and met the two cats at the door
warm and wordy. The sun inside the hall
leaning my languid shadow against a wall
the thinning carpets remember feet,
the metal bath the swell of a body,
the cupboards an inability to close.
The house learns me,
its language is house language
meanings of colours and shapes,
of beginnings and ends:

your home is where you areyour home is where you are.


My last visit to my mother, I voyaged by sea,
‘what’s a boat?’ she says;
my father her husband
was a seaman.
I mime a baby being rocked,
arms a hull, my scarf sails
(an aeroplane would be easier to define);
I take a pencil and swim it
her multiple profiles syncopate,
I fold a paper ‘barco’ I say,
watermarked she tastes salt.

I’m thinking about that ferry that passed
mine when I left her,
the ferry smaller as it reached the end
of my eyes, fitting my tenuous finger tip
until it was no longer white.

How physics works like love

I see you inside
how a camera picks up light,

you me and the world rooted up.

I see trees branch from clouds
grass sprout fringes overhead

kites fly children and birds
swoon the tender earth,

puddles dangle neon lights
cars sunk like silver zeppelins.

and us standing together on our heads,

our faces touched
watered by a rush of love.

María C. Domínguez

Maria Castro Dominguez is the author of A Face in The Crowd, her 2016 erbacce–press prize-winning collection. A finalist in the 2019 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry contest, her poems have appeared in Orbis, Obsessed With Pipework, Apogee, The Long-Islander Huntington Journal, and London Grip. A bilingual collection with poet Matt Duggan is forthcoming in Spring 2020 with Hedgehog Poetry Press. She tweets at @marcasdom. Her website is

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