Texture of the lost

What kind of poverty is amplified by stacks of moving boxes?

Somewhere in the depths of one there is a pile of unpaired socks, a spoon without its fork, a book whose frontispiece is missing.

In the grooves of the madeleine pan, a memory that sticks and will never come off.

Are the simplest things the best? In her mind, she subtracts one piece of furniture after another.

He has a turkey sandwich on wheat every single day. She can’t. She needs to mix things up, so her taste buds remember the yellow of pineapples, the bright bitter green of kale.

Where posters were once held to the wall with little bits of putty, now there are oil spots darker than the paint.

Once, as she stood in front of a shop window, the blur of a passing truck wrote letters in reverse on her forehead.


In response to Via Negativa: That lost gesture.

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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