After

It may be that the past is another country; or a kind
of cloud-vessel shadow moving through the days.

It may be that a window is something to frantically
open, before the throat closes on itself from lack

of air. There’s another word for it, though– it means
lookout, crow’s nest, balcony, or ledge. And it may be

that a chair is only a chair and not a fortuitous
place to land, especially in the grips of vertigo.

Maybe a closed book collecting dust on a shelf isn’t
history— only a letter badly written to yourself

before you really traveled anywhere. Postcards came
in the mail with panoramas of unlined blue; bird

serifs, pebbled beaches. In time, you dared to pull
at the buttery flesh of a sea urchin with your teeth,

tipping its armored body to your lips— only the first
briny thimbleful that cracked open the passages to thirst.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Following orders.

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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