Arguments with destiny: 12

“Dammit, matter just doesn’t last…” ~ Amy Gerstler

So much talk to learn, so much
cultivation

Every few months we thin
the coffers in our temples.

It isn’t considered rebellious
to give up the idols

we slicked and thickened with lard
through the year: for the guide said,

They have served their purpose.
They have given of their purchased

good. We are told to try
to act like too much

doesn’t matter. After all,
there is no longer need to collect

water from a cactus leaf, no need
to crisp the wings of insects

for food. But when I regard the wires
of their copper-like remnants, I feel

I have let them down; I miss
the quiet chirring;

and beneath the trees at evening,
the small lights they once let flicker.

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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