When they teach us of our history,
they always begin with dates: never
before 1521, which is when the Portuguese
sailor reaches our shores, takes one look,
and freaks. Out come the flags and christening
oils, the cross with which to subdue the natives
showing too much inked skin, optic weaves,
dark elements, ores. Little does he know
he’ll be dead in under a month and a half:
spear finding quick the flaw in the armor.
Months later, Tenochtitlan falls and Cuauhtémoc
surrenders, also to the Spanish. Even then,
there are prophets predicting apocalypse:
the end of days is always coming soon
to a theatre near you. War, marauding,
hand to hand combat. Going rogue, biding
time in the forests: all of which
our forebears were always good at.
In response to Via Negativa: Civics.
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.