Assassin’s Wake

You are the crab sidling out
from under another, to nip
the fingers closing in with tongs.

You are the kiss walking away
without so much as another glance.

You are the pair caught on camera
pretending to help the fallen one,
then rifling his backpack for cash.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Landscape, with Variations in AllegoryPrivate: Each Question is Always the Same Question →

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.

3 Replies to “Assassin’s Wake”


    “You are the kiss walking away/without so much as another glance.”

    When you find me, and I know you will,
    but I would have withered in the search,
    like these brittle leaves and broken twigs,
    how would I hold you to your promise?

    Like those hungry ghosts in Yunnan,
    would you haunt these forests for a touch
    of where my heart pounds, my breasts,
    and growl your hunger away, satiated?

    You promised you would kiss each leaf,
    each fallen twig, each broken branch
    to find me. But what if you were the kiss
    walking away and would not even glance?

    —Albert B. Casuga

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