Infinite Loop

Dear National Monuments and Galleries
featuring busts of presidents and dead
white men, a shrill noise comes through
the window and I recall the morning I left
home wearing an unironed blouse inside out.
The moon, we’re told, only reflects light
not its own: watery sliver, blade, glassy
shard. Do you sometimes hear bones unsettle
in the earth? Who knew the need to mark
what’s gone, what’s taken, could feel so
desperate? Yesterday, two children tugged
at the same dented toy in the damp sandbox,
saying no no no and mine or maybe yellow.
Well you know what? I want it too. I wish
the weather would mutate and deliver
plane tickets to somewhere benevolently
warm with blossoms. The cats stretch
languidly on the green papasan couch.
Do you ever wonder where they dump
“exotic” fruit from the special grocery
aisle after they’ve gone bad? I weep
for all the cherimoyas, the little cuts
of sugar cane, the horned melons…
I whipped around in the middle of the food
court, hearing Keri ko yan, charot!
Muscle atrophy, says the scientist. Use it
or lose it. None of this may be true or matter
in the end. But do you have any coffee?
The broken lawnmower sits there, rusting.
As I recall, Aunt Ruby was the one who said
the cattiest or most cutting things. As if
any grass could be mown down completely
with the tongue. I can’t stop picking
at old thoughts like scabs. And both
elbows are dark and slightly scaly.
Morning, noon, and smorgasbord, I long
and long and long. I still resent
the teacher who once said You’ll never
shine like Liberace
; mostly I think
she worshipped rhinestones and white
jackets. I could go on until I tell
myself: you’ve got to stop sometime.

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.

Leave a Reply

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