Arguments with destiny: 14

“— I don’t know, I don’t know. Don’t know if I’m staying
or passing through.”

(“— não sei, não sei. Não sei se fico
ou passo.”) ~ “Motive,” Cecília Meireles, trans. Natalie d’Arbeloff

The printed dress is in the bag,
its tag attached, its pleats
turned over for return

or for exchange: what’ll catch
the eye instead? Peacock
swirls or ombre tones,

soft drapes of fabric will dissolve
in too much bleach or too much sun
—So many skins, and only one

frame on which to try them all,
with which to alter the outline of
that figure journeying in the void.


In response to Via Negativa: Contrary Moon: Three poems by Cecilia Meireles.

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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 (forthcoming, 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, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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