Arguments with destiny: 3

“You whose name is aggressor and devourer.” ~ Czeslaw Milosz

You whose name is Eigengrau, intrinsic grey in perfect darkness,
intrinsic light made to wear a uniform of drab in the open-air—
When I heard you fumbling among the crates and boxes I hid
in sheets of newsprint, panicked at first I cowered

in my own darkness and muted my breath. When you took
me from myself I learned to adjust sight to the optic
edges, learned to gather pinpricks from among the softer
gradients. I don’t refute you, in the way one never

can refute the looming presence of that teacher,
the one who made you kneel on dry beans
on the dusty schoolroom floor, your punishment
for refusing to take to heart his lessons.

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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