these days, tears come easily and often, in public, at
inappropriate times; or without preamble as she drives
the car to or from work, so sometimes she has to pull up
by the curb to wipe waterfalls from her eyes— she doesn’t
want to ruin her spotless driving record, much less cause
injury to another creature on the road. Ask your doctor
about hormone replacement therapy, says her girlfriend.
Maybe get your thyroid checked, says another. Nothing
wine can’t cure. Or a vacation. Plus mani-pedi- and a Thai
massage: those are the best! A full Thai massage session
typically lasts two hours. Someone walks up and down
the length of your back and cracks your knuckles, pulls
your fingers, toes, and ears, rotates your arms and legs
and kneads your skin until it glows. The Buddha tries
to remember when the last time was that she could say
she glowed, when anyone said she looked good in whatever
kind of light, when the lines around her eyes laughed
then turned into quilled ribbons at the ends—
A long time. In college, she’d read about the paradox
of motion: how that which is in locomotion must arrive
at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal—
She remembers thinking then, as she does now, how this
was either the smartest way to talk oneself into tackling
daunting goals and distances in manageable increments,
or the dumbest reason for staying home since any progress
was doomed to impossibility from the start. And in the case
of this potential mid-life crisis, the middle is the middle
of the middle of the middle from the moment
anybody ever took their first breath here.
In response to Via Negativa: In Good Light.
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.