Dark Body

Dark-promised, soot-colored, life-size statue of the Nuestro Padre Nazareno— Clear sky, bright sun that stripes his rickety carriage, borne on the shoulders of hundreds of men. Carpenter, boat-builder, cop and cobbler; plumber, electrician out of work, not yet sober tuba-drinker; husband, overseas worker, skirt-chaser, wife-beater. They’ve all come to touch this visage of coal, this visage of charred ship lumber. Fire translates into scars on the body’s timber. Any piece of clothing will do to daub its flesh-like surfaces: torn t-shirt, scrap of cotton, burlap sack, polyester, old gym towel. They pull on ropes, conveying this likeness cloaked in saffron and red velvet. In the choked streets, see how urgent the desire to touch, be touched, be filled with fleeting grace. Some have fainted. Some have lost a finger, crushed a rib, a clavicle. For miracle, what does it matter that one might be trampled?


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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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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