Soul Spa

Always or afterward, one face tipped open, unguarded—
Beautiful flower pinched from the stem before the bloom,
corolla of calm churning at weather’s
dead center. Have you learned how to be that way,
equanimity unperturbed by whatever descends
from the sky, slate gray, azure, in between?
Go lightly, in joy as in sorrow: these mortal
hours not weighted by custom, unheeding of care.
I used to chafe so much at my lot. Always wanting,
jaded when at last my will and I conspired.
Keepsakes jangled sometimes into my arms, things
like wealth to endlessly catalogue. But they couldn’t
mother the hankering, put to bed the restless-
ness that comes of not having learned the lesson.
Once, I entered a dream that was a kind of humming:
purled sheets of white linen undulating like a sea;
quietly electric, fine-tuned somehow like a pulse.
Read me its meaning, I begged of the soothsayer.
She smiled her dusky smile and had me lie down,
then scrubbed the crooked length of my back
until it unwound and tingled. Fingers traced
vertebrae with rounds of salt and shells of grain,
warming and chilling my core. A sign read
Exit, but I didn’t want to leave so soon.
Your time isn’t up, she said, and I knew—
Zones only feel spectral when light wears a veil.


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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