Listen (verb): To Pay Attention
by Jeannie Kidera
Nearby a deaf woman reads
the lips of her husband as he speaks.
How well she must know his mouth.
The pattern of tiny creases in each lip
memorized over dinner. The subtle
tilt of one corner before a laugh.
Every conversation a study
on the precise formation of his words;
each word a series of mute movements:
a tight rounding, a slight press of tongue to teeth.
Like a scientist, she watches, & at night,
before sleep, kisses this voice
she only sees. A voice so examined
that when they die & God hides the man
in a choir, she will close her eyes & recognize
the shape of his syllables in the air.
Jeannie Kidera holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Bowling Green State University and an MA in English from John Carroll University. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and reviews have appeared in Whiskey Island Magazine, The Madison Review, New Letters, Mid-American Review, Connotation Press, and Naugatauk River Review. She lives and teaches in Cleveland, OH.