Once upon a time,

a winged thing carved a hole in my heart.

I didn’t mind, I let it nest there
because it sang a small

defenseless song that lofted

marbles into the air. I wove them
into a tiara I wore on my hair,

not knowing yet how every note

of shimmering blue could drown
eventually in the wood. There is

that moment between two chords,

invisible space between a foreground
and what pounds beneath— and always,

one eternal tear that slides

down the middle of my chest
as the world turns and the sky

fills with the raucous cries of birds.

~ after “Once Upon a Time,” acrylic on canvas, 2016; Ulysses Duterte Jr.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.