In the hotel with thin walls and the name of a poet,

you hear the busboys hail each other
on the sidewalk after midnight. You hear
the man expectorating in the bathroom of Room 101—
the sound he makes, like someone drowning on dry land.
If it is true there are ghosts, you want to wait
for the one of your grandfather to materialize
and lead you by the hand down the grand staircase,
past tables laid with silver and candelabra
to the kitchen where he cleanly severed
the joints of fowl before he cooked them
in broth with ginger and squash. If it is true
that the rain will never cease, then the trail
of ants will lead from the hibiscus in the yard
to the bowl of honey in the larder; and you’ll eat
spoonful after spoonful so as to never fear
the mold so freely papering the ceilings,
and thus keep it from ever taking root in your lungs.
If it is true, that dream you used to have of hovering
over a billowing sheet in the shape of a sea: then
the green and white days in its aftermath
are only a pause, a door in the garden
through which women in evening dresses
have gone in search of the transcendental;
and into which, consequently, the long afternoon
siestas of childhood have momentarily disappeared.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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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 (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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