The heart of what it is we want to say

is always the heart of the question, isn’t it?

One that’s difficult to answer except perhaps
in the form of another question: that is, we feel it

there, lodged in the space close to the gut,
which is just fingers away from the heart,

and so really they might as well be the same
barometer of feeling or non-feeling,

there being no easy half measures,
no in-betweens— Either you eat the fruit

or you leave it in the tree, either you leave
the slug on the leaf or reach for the sear

of salt, either you leave the bullet shell
lodged long near the spine, or risk forced

entry— there being no real argument that doesn’t
engage that space in the center of us all, that space

where a seed might grow into thought, into song,
into a child, into speech, into a reckoning.


In response to Via Negativa: Writer of Color.

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

  1. Just lovely. Thank you for writing this. Emotively captures so many things for me. Salamat po, again.


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