Penultimates

“Send the dew of blessing, the dew of grace;
renew my dispensation, and grant me length of days.”

– from “Prayers for the Protection and Opening of the Heart”
by Ya’akov Hakohen, trans. Peter Cole

 

Intuit, lean in, listen: the world’s too much. Who’s left
that knows to comprehend words that don’t get spoken?

A finger traces a vein along the chipped Formica counter.
Behind it, the cashier’s chalking in prices on the menu board:

Banh mi, buckwheat crepes, waffles, sausage and gravy. Outside fog,
windows clouded with steam. Appetite not meaning to obscure the view.

A woman’s knitting a blanket for a child soon born. The tips of fingers
where they press to work against the metal needles, blue-heathered as yarn.

How long, I wonder, will I have the strength to keep sprinting? I barely made
the last flight out. And no one cares to look through manifests for missing names.

Rain now, snowfall tonight. Unharmed, the baby they found in a field.
A town raked through and through by tornado winds around her.

We sit with charts and tables: worry times need calculating cost. Ring it up
once, twice, thrice. Was everything all right? Come back again soon.

 

In response to How to Burn.

Posted in

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 (forthcoming, 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, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

1 Comment


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