Memory Palace

Think of the doorway
leading to the house—

the brass knocker,
the two ornamentals

by the steps. Think
of the bay windows

that looked out over
the drive; upstairs

the room without
curtains, with only

a bed, a chair, a desk.
What was the name

of the tree in whose
branches night herons

came to roost; the name
of the river, and the boat

the neighbors tethered
at the pier? Who fell

from the mast one New
Year Eve stringing

lights? There’s a haze
some days over the water

and the scene dissolves.
Today it’s Tuesday

and almost summer.
Yesterday you tried

to remember a dream.
Tomorrow you’ll wake

and hope to recognize
whose hand you hold,

where you parked the car
before you got here.

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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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