Dear solitude, rarest of all

Dear solitude, rarest of all
modern conditions, in your true
state you do not ask what it is
that’s brought the seeker
to your door. There is no
requirement to bring so heavy
a raft of troubles, to list
all the tears one has shed week
after week for the innocent
and the dead. And yet, that
being what it is, I wonder
where in your depths is that cell
where the pulsing blue lights
of squad cars cannot follow,
where the dark flares bursting
from the mouths of rifles turn sterile,
then dissipate in the open air…
I want to hide in that silence where
the heart’s furious hammering
returns to the breath only
as a reassurance of stars, rest
from the onslaughts of those armies
whose footfalls I hear marching
through the streets day after day.

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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