Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In the Rooms of Vermeer

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In the Rooms of Vermeer

Article excerpt

When I enter the rooms of Vermeer

I enter on tiptoe, polished squares

of absolute silence. Notes are suspended

between measures. Everyone has stopped

breathing. Some music is about

to happen. Or milk is pouring

from a jug and the sound of the pouring

is different from the sound of

water from a pump which squeaks

as it sucks from a well. Or a needle passes

in and out of fabric. Listen,

colors are moving,

the low note of the jug and pages of a letter

turning, a hand out of a glove

fingering a sleeve.

I came in the morning to the kitchen

and stood in the doorway to see her

folding flour into flour. Every soft

muscle of dough an inwardness

turning and turning

in on itself. …

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