“…I will live sparingly” ~ D. Bonta
There was a leather-bound bible embossed
with mother’s name; a ribbon marker, angels
with flaming swords on a gold-edged
prayer card tucked between pages
thinner than leaves. She let me read
from it, nights before I fell asleep.
And I’d fast-forward, skipping
from the Gospels to Revelations,
its visions of horned beasts rising from
the depths: crowned with bloody diadems,
ringed with teeth and claws, chimerical
phantoms bellowing the fire and smoke
of Armageddon. More suspenseful
than a thriller— but how much
of what I read was truth, how much
was mystery? My hands grew clammy
from reading of calamity: how stars
extinguished themselves and the dead
swam in lakes of fire; how ships
and their precious cargo sank
into oceans of bewilderment. How I
was smaller than a speck in the vastness
of this universe hurtling steadily
toward the certainty of the end of days.
In response to Via Negativa: Citizen.
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.