Song without Strings

Today I want to remember, but remember
beyond mere recognition. To break
the chain that holds the gate in place,

that keeps these soggy woods soggy
under a ponderous gray sky. Where
is the props man? Have him haul up

that sky and lower one in a more
pleasing color: multi-flora. You have
no idea what it takes to sustain

this effort, to remember (I carry
four flesh stumps held to a piece
of gauze by the silver prong

of a safety pin). Tip the bucket
over, let the little stippled fish
swim to the moon. Take it back,

clean its insides of kelp
and constricted tissue. Use it as
a cup from which to drink today

like a woman who isn’t a mother:
just a woman, just a girl who wants
to sit in this chair with no need

to get up real soon, who wants warm
light to love all of her back, who
wants a sip of cold clear water.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Santa MilagritaMorning Song →

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 “Song without Strings”


    Warm light on the back are familiar fingers
    but they will not be back as caresses again.
    They can only unravel bandages of wounds
    that will not heal but will not feel any pain.
    I am done with them. All feelings betray us
    before they become clear: they sap courage,
    and quickly turn into skeletons of passion.
    I want to be a woman, not a chair to catch
    torn and tired bodies that need mending.
    I, too, hanker for strength from the strong,
    unquenchable hunger I could eagerly satisfy
    when it finds its harbor and home in a place
    I, and only I, can shape or rearrange or own,
    or drink like a glass of cold water to cool me
    down when I have no more need for loving.

    —Albert B. Casuga

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.