Yes, nothing as fine as snow sifts down on our mountains.
At least, not merely for our recreation or pleasure.
Frost, when it blisters those rare, chilled nights
at the end of the year, can be very beautiful—
for several incandescent hours, it outlines with silvery-green
the heads of cabbages that farmers thereafter must send
to the sorrow of composting bins.

A resinous musk once clothed the trees that you call
evergreen— now they wear something more stark,
more bitter. One morning not so long ago our children
woke from sleep to find the ashes of a faraway volcano
on their lashes. We marveled even more thereafter
at the precision of fate, at the impossibility of explaining
what we’d always lived with as mystery.

Only a few elders remain who know the patterns
for our rivers’ undulating forms. They can tap them
into your skin— say, on your shoulders, across
your collarbone— with only the soot
gathered by history’s ghosts. When you fall
back into the dust, the stones might remember
for you what you’ve forgotten.



In response to Via Negativa: Beautification.

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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