Dubsmash Mouth: A Cento

I was not impressed. I did not want to be
you with a prophet’s name, posed—

Someone in an accent of seduction whispered salmon.
You plus me: the equation of initials equals love?

The room filled with smoke and sawdust:
a world of Netscape, chat rooms and Fruit by the Foot.

It is unbearable to watch, as if
humans were extra/ or already gone—

I said, “Love me better or go to hell.”
Relay a little venom to my darling:

Let her live with her boy toys and enjoy
breaking their balls again and again,/ loving none.

This circus I’m part of was built just for this.
I should have done it the other way.

[Source texts: “Heartsick,” Lynn Emanuel; “My Daguerrotype Boyfriend,” Alison Pelegrin; “The Donnellys,” Martin Dyar; “Property,” Robin Beth Schaer; “The Grain,” D. Nurske; “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” Adam Fitzgerald; “Communion,” Blas Falconer; “On a Day, in the World,” Brenda Hillman; “Misunderstandings,” Tony Hoagland; “Message to my Love,” Catullus, trans. from the Latin by Jeannine Diddle Uzzi and Jeffrey Thomson; “Practice for Being Empty,” Mary Jo Bang; “The Fatal Skin,” Peter Unwin]

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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