Your Cinema Paradiso

It will always be June, the monsoon croons—
Scarves of fog wrapped around your throat,
evening a coat so easily slipped on.

Yellowing paint on the sides of the old
City Hall, duck’s egg vendors calling
into the humid streets.

Beneath the weeping willows, a group
of loose-pantalooned grandfathers
slowly windmilling arms

in Single Whip. Last time you walked
around the lake, you missed the shoe-
shine boys, their wooden

boxes stuffed with rags and polish.
The bicycle rental boys flick spent cigarettes
into the pitimini bushes. Oh barely

perceptible drift of hours, shadows that lean
from tree to tree then fringe the lake’s blue edges:
if you don’t think a hundred years changes

the character of a place, ask the first five
strangers you meet in the plaza to tell you
how to get from there to Atok or Kapangan.

There are music schools now in every strip mall;
and rows of silent windows in the old convent
from which piano scales used to pour at dusk.

~ after Eugene Gloria

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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 (forthcoming, 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, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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