Once butter-fat and milky, marrow
gelling into brittle feather bone,

quill, gladius— What the year
seems to have done to all softness

inside me. You too? And the scrolls
of beautiful wood carved with signs

we treasured as talismans: they’ve
been hacked into a hundred pieces.

Hide one under your tongue, take
another and burn to ash then drink

as if a potion. Bury a few in the hearts
of seeds you’ll plant in earth, in water.

Let the rest go with the stars. Crickets
in the fire will feed our hunger. Before we

take them into our bellies, we thank them.
We thank every little thing that enters

us like a word, a sword, a sound— the way
a newborn’s cry cuts through a fog of blankness.


In response to Via Negativa: Radical.

Posted in

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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