Everywhere in the heart, country ravaged by famine, there are columns of dust where there used to be trees and promenades. Nothing leaps in the fountains but a suicide of bees. Somewhere its ruler is asleep, or does not know how to wake up. The elders consult the oracles, sacrificing their last few bones to produce instructions for breaking this curse. This is the only possible reason the heart accosts whoever comes near: it wants to know who is willing to travel beyond the ridges of the self, to stand in vigil thirty days and nights never once closing the eyes to sleep, until the bird of paradise comes to roost in the branches of a tree. Its mouth is a parasol that wants so dearly to be a song, in the same way sheets of hoarfrost on the ground want to turn into yards and yards of silk, their sheer gossamer slipping like water through the needle’s hundred eyes.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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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 (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.

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