When the rain stops at last so many skins
cover the drenched ground, though small

unripened fruit still cling
high on the tree— as if difficulty

never changes the heart of things.
I learned that lesson late and now am wary,

though the light that rings the world
when the sun returns allows me to forget

from time to time how I labor, how we
aren’t spared— How the fire, when it comes,

and the winds, will pass like twin flames from one
mouth absorbed only by its own shimmering.

There was a man who held his wife in his arms
in the water, in the deepest part of the pool,

hoping the two of them together would make
an alloy to survive that bright

encroaching. I know how hard it is
to give up the habit of persistence—

We want to pray and not surrender,
we want to trace a wide alchemical circle

inside of which sorrow might find
the strength to abandon itself.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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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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