Landscape, with Fake Butterflies and Sick Child

This entry is part 64 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


“Now if it be true that the living come from the dead,
then our souls must exist in the other world, for if not,
how could they have been born again?”

Here’s sunrise, a stain on the western ridge:
errant strip of color someone has stirred,
some buried memory. In the distance,
a long whistle means a train is gliding
into the station, its zipper pulling away—
tracks from trees, trees from the oily
hemline of hills. Late stars flicker, pin
lights in a dim shop window. Just hours
ago, I wandered the aisles of an all-night
drugstore: in the toy section, old-fashioned
mason jars underneath whose lids thin wires
were bent and rigged to painted tin
butterflies. Pressed, the raised button
on the cover triggered convulsions along the line.
Sound of crinkled foil, sound of wings against
mesh screens. Even the soul could not live
in this simulacrum of air. All night I saw
blue and yellow outlines scissor through
the curtains. All night I tended the jangly pulse
at the base of my sleeping daughter’s throat.

Luisa A. Igloria
02 15 2011

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

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    1. Thanks Hannah — you’re the tough act to follow :) Dave just told me you’ve been writing a poem five days every week for the last three years!?! Wow!


  1. This is such a fine poem….to be able to capture it so well is a gift, indeed.
    Thanks, Dave and Luisa.


  2. These get better and better. I keep wanting to read them in the pages of a book. |Any chance?


    1. I don’t know, but in the meantime, you could check out some of Luisa’s already published books. I have the two most recent, Trill & Mordent and Juan Luna’s Revolver — both are excellent.


    2. Joe, I’m looking to see if some of these poems composed on TMP can come together with others that I’ve written; and I think I have enough for a book ms. but need to structure and thin and order… I’m hopeful!


  3. Nice catch! And that zipper for the train…really nice the way the length and pulling away works, plus the more old-fashioned kind with metal teeth is conjured, tracklike. Clever.


    1. Thanks Marly! And have you seen those butterfly-in-jar simulacra on the shelves in Walgreens? Saw them while waiting for my daughter’s asthma meds the other night.


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