Rest Cure

The Reclining Buddha welcomes you
to his abode as you enter through
the back door. Yes, thirst

is a significant symptom and salt
a dream more potent than water.
It makes bitter fruit sweeter,

can sometimes take away the sting
of thorns. The Medicine Buddha
wants to know if you still dream

in more than one language, if you
remember the first taste placed
on your tongue after you emerged,

frail and wracked, out of a month-
long fever. You’ve heard of cures
for lassitude and sadness,

for anger, lovesickness,
boredom. You can have them all
as long as you drink only one

spoonful out of the right
pewter cup. Lie as still
as you can, look straight

up at the ceiling. Now do you
remember pressed fleur-de-lis
patterns on rose gold tile,

blue tilting shadows under the deck
umbrella? You may remember the voices
that came and hovered over you, brought

morsels of rice to your lips,
precious crust that caramelized
at the bottom of the rice pot.

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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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