“I am the one who keeps playing
while the weather encroaches…”
~ Stephen Dunn, “Cleaning Up”
Dear arctic visitor, aloof and seemingly
uncongenial, I know your hot little secret:
you love the musk of summer that lingers
in the roots of my hair, metallic fragrance
of sparks slumbering in the cauldron of the belly:
how audible were the noises it made, despite
its best intentions at abstinence and fasting?
So I confess— I ate those teeth of rubies
spilled out on the plate more for their flicker
and hidden fire than for the weight of flesh
they could press on my tongue… And when you
take me into your subterranean bed festooned
with tinsel and fluorescent lighting, piled high
and quilted with skins and downy coverlets, still
I’m seized by such a terrible longing. I can’t answer
when you rant and rave: Isn’t this enough? What more?
Sweeping a boar-bristle brush from temple and crown
through my frost-thin hair, I miss the wind and warm
salt-spray, the way light mothers a patch of loam.
In response to small stone (177).
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.