Trying to teach fear more than one story

Do you never want to sleep again
on the ground floor because once
a flood rose in the night to pull
whole towns into the sea?

Do you think every time you wince
in that hollow beneath your ribs,
it means you have forgotten how joy
can fill the belly as well as pain?

Do you think only a cascade of hot
tears can melt the hard little chips
that lodge in the unsuspecting
corners of the day?

Do you think, because you sliced one
of two glowing persimmons open only to find
it puckered your tongue, that the other
won’t continue to quietly ripen?


In response to Via Negativa: Believer.

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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