Dearest, I drove through the streets without recalling if I had observed traffic signals correctly. Also, I’ve grown weary from so much irony these days. It seems there isn’t any conversation that doesn’t use it, no space in the public sphere that doesn’t flaunt its shadow. It rained slightly— less than the weather forecasts predicted— but the chill cut through my boot-soles because I had not remembered to pull on socks in the morning. I was thinking of other things: like my regret at never having learned to use a sewing machine or make a dress from a pattern. And I want a pair of loose fisherman pants to tie with a long double loop around my waist, and I want to rig up a vertical garden planter on the deck where I might plant cinnamon basil and sage, dill, mint, mizuna lettuce… Maybe nasturtiums, edible gold and orange to lay on my tongue when I am feeling poorly. I am tired, so tired tonight. But whatever it is that exacts the daily tribute is such a hungry nag— and I have very little left to give. Go away, leave me a moment’s peace where I have no need to add or subtract from the silence, no need to grieve yet for what has not passed away.


In response to thus: tithe.

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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 (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. I love how your piece turned out in response, in part, to this line from Thus: “The tithe of suffering is paid in silence, which grows without gaining and retreats without lessening, ever, in gravity.”


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