Dear samba, dear bossa nova

beat pouring through the sound system
of this corner cafe, something in my
blood rises immediately to the warmth
of syllables that alternately quicken
(darting hummingbirds among the green)
then lengthen, humid as afternoons swung
from hammocks against the setting sun.
Even if I don’t understand the words
crooned in Portuguese, they unloose
the languid locked in my wrists,
the small of my back, the tight
ladders knotted in my spine.
The low cloud ceiling suspended
over this day transforms into sultry
stage setting: the gloom no longer
somber, only achingly melancholy;
the isolated call and response
amid the trees querulous, perhaps
even occasionally sweet— and
in between, those rich, syncopated
silences of expectation and release.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← FallingTurning →

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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