Instructions

“I drink from a small spring,
my thirst exceeds the ocean.”
—Adam Zagajewski

Spanish folk music plays today on the sound system of this Turkish coffee shop where I come to sit and write and use the free wireless network (well, really, not completely free if you figure in the cost of the $1.64 glass copita of Turkish tea I’ve ordered, plus tax). A chorus warbles the refrain from “Granada” and ends with a flourish of castanets and foot-stomping. Then more guitars, more singing. I can almost see the women’s arms dipping and lifting, maneuvering their ruffled bata de cola skirts, which troubles the oversized flowers they’ve pinned in their hair. I notice that the girl tending the espresso machine has cut her long hair since I was here last; she’s looped a scarf of silvery grey around her neck though everything else she wears is still black. On the coffee stand by the window, someone has placed a pair of embroidered felt slippers, perhaps the kind a minor pasha might have worn indoors or on his way back from the bath. Outside, a skim of snow’s imprinted on the walk with winding, parallel lines of arrows, like a child’s map to buried treasure. The sun, guest maitre d’ this noon, parts the potted greens and signals for me to take my time, cup my fingers around the bowl; sip the tea while it’s hot, but slowly.

Luisa A. Igloria
01.14.2011

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

Series Navigation← Private: PreludiumConsonance →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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