I considered the shadow against the outline,
the grey powder fallen into cracks
in sidewalks, frosting every windshield
across town: I was told a mountain
had spoken, so we would never
breathe the same again.


There are nouns
whose formality I miss.
For instance: exhalation
instead of exhale. Just another
slight squeeze out of the lung’s accordion.
How can I convince you it isn’t so hard?


Sadness is possibly an upright piano
we no longer own. We pulled sheet music
out of the bench and sang after dinner.
I learned to improvise when I couldn’t
make sense of chords— I am sorry
even if I know it wasn’t my fault.

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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