Intermittence

Time, which I am always breathing
in increments, begins to dictate

again its oldest letter: it ticks
in the ear, it mimics the voice

of an owl in the earliest hours
or hurtles against the screens,

a small, soft body fleeing the talons
of another. Through the fog of sleep,

I hear the swish of blinds being raised,
air exhaled from the tap then the rush

of water announcing its readiness
to cleave the dreams from your skin.

And yes I am powerless against its
intermittence, the constant reminder

of all it sweeps along in the motion of gears.
How easy to lose my place in the book I am

reading, my count in a row of knitting. But I
can’t bear yet the thought of us as letters

others will read after we’e gone. Rain falls
all week, all night; and I want to tell you

about the blue umbrella I opened when I
stepped out: how a gradient of holes

possibly made by the sharp ends of each
metal runner looked like notches

on the face of a clock: tiny, yet
enough to admit both light and rain.

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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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