That which won’t leave you

Where was the last place words went hiding
before they said goodbye? My life’s a spool,

a stumbling transcript or translation
of itself among others. The early parts

clumsy, the bones of their orphaned grammar
rattling in jars. I look at the way they amber

in evening light and am dumbstruck at how I don’t
yet have their final names. When others come to me

with their catalog of needs, it’s the long sweep
of road I hear ahead: that familiar restlessness

punctuated by the thin, sharp cries of crickets.
I want a quiet room, a bed laid with linen; my head

turned to a window for want of sight of the moon—
because once I was told it’s steadfast, it never leaves.


In response to Via Negativa: Stuck in the past.

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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