After a cry, a nap so heavy you feel drugged, you come up
for air and test how skin might breathe again through silk,
cotton, viscose; the humidity that’s settled in your hair.
Out of every corner of the house, when you sweep, you collect
the dust that bodies have made— flakes sloughed off elbows
and knees, the head that lolled on the sofa pillow or rested
in cupped palms. How is it we haven’t managed to completely
rub away into nothing? But then again, from our 2 square meters
of skin, 30 to 40 thousand cells shed every minute, only to renew
every 28 days. So even at this level, biology resists the drama of our
zero sum games, the take-it-or-leave-its; those ideals of perfection
paired with such stubborn unwillingness to compromise—
when even the fish thrown back in the river after the barbs
are taken out leap back into the current, injured but alive.
In response to Via Negativa: End times.
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.