“The heart is what I imagine I give.” ~ Roland Barthes

There was a time I couldn’t imagine
knowing what time feels like, reduced

to a void by an absence. I learned
how the grass and flowers opened,

how two dragonflies transfixed in air
become a crucible for what could

go on. Dogs in the street sniff
then lean upon one another,

their flanks trembling. How long
can the heart abide in another’s

suffering? I become exhausted
by the identification with what I

can barely alter or contain. The moon
knows better, detaching from its screen

of branches. Fronds of curling fern
undo me— proof I have so much to learn.

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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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