Arguments with destiny: 5

“I have a steadfast joy
and a joy that’s lost…” ~ “Riches,” Gabriela Mistral

When you were sick for a long time,
the ceiling tilted like a throat
drunk on the molasses of slow
fevered dreams. Marooned

on an island of sheets, you
were brought water, ice cubes,
bowls of broth, fruit plucked
from the tree and speckled

with night rain. The sun swelled
somewhere, in a different sky.
Yours was the cocoon of frog
songs, old ceremony of rice

grains poured into shallow dishes
to divine the blood’s chemical
repercussions. When finally
they led you into the steam

of a bath, you broke through
the surface: sacrificial lattice
of eucalyptus leaves dissolving
in a paroxysm of long-held breath.

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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