Inscrutable Sonnets


Wet leaves plaster the chairs and tables; the hearts,
too, of bougainvillea flatten themselves against the wall.
Who can count how many trees fell across the road? At what
hour did the winds snatch the tarpaulin roof off the mall?
In a season of exigency, it is prudent to act with haste
as well as keep something back. Salt on rice, the can-
opener close at hand. Pull the drip of tallow: its paste,
something to roll into beads. High tide makes beaches of lawns.
The earth speckles with silt and grit; snapped wire, sad debris
of plastic shopping bags, foamed innards of sewer lines.
We don’t bathe for days. We drink instant coffee, dress
in layers, boil the last of the eggs. Yes, this will pass:
another thing to file away in memory, eventually. Even so,
it’s palpable: that sadness for what hasn’t come yet but will.


In response to Via Negativa: We sat outside.

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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