Johanna C. Dominguez

In the Silence, She Knows She's Home

She sweeps snow off the porch, buries
the mummified carcass of a bird found

on a windowsill. Hugs the silver maple.
When there's no time for hugs,

a stroke. Taps pink poppy seed pods
once the flower is spent. Peels back

ivy from foundations. Tears down crumbled
fences. Builds new ones. Lays brick borders.

She moves each bag of stone
with ungloved fingers to build

a history of calluses in her hands.
In her joints. She brushes cobwebs

from the rafters. Keeps coffin nails
in her pocket. Learns where to tickle

the doors to entice them to open.
Grazes her knuckles on plaster

with each rhythmic scrape. She unearths
schooners, tea kettles, cities of castles,

as she peels back layers of walls. She learns
the language of each floorboard. The chips and scars

in every molding. Which floor holds
the finest galaxy of nail pricks that glint

in the sunset. In rafters, she finds prayers,
bodies, half dime libraries. She knows
which rooms her sighs echo loudest –


Johanna C. Dominguez is a poet, photographer, and activist that tries to incite change and conversation through her work. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. Johanna founded Bee Social, a social media strategy business based in Buffalo. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Mississippi Review, Drunken Boat, and other publications.