Not the indifferent message
served inside the cracked
shell of thinned pastry dough,

but whatever sifts down
through the mesh of sleep
to wind up in the bowl

you are served for breakfast—
Not the spoon you stop to take
out of your mouth to consider

what worth it will hold, melted
in the furnace. Listen then,
and remember: how your

grandmother knocked on the door
of each pawnbroker’s house in town
to beg back the heirloom

with its inlaid heart of rubies
strung on a chain. One desperation
can lead so easily to another, then

another. And it’s true, we most desire
what brilliance wounds the deepest.
What we’ll give to stay inside

such golden, reckless beauty! That flickering
in the trees, every leaf a tongue that must
burn hard because winter is coming.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← The most difficult lesson is releaseDiminish →

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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