When I wonder how faith could ever be taught

“…What use is a door if
you can’t exit? A door that can’t
be opened is called a wall. My
father is on the other side of
the wall.”
~ Victoria Chang, “Obit”

In the beginning a bird
raised its voice and bugled

from the hedge, and soon
the wood filled with answers.

But none of them could tell
why some of us look at a world

made of things neatly indexed:
sandbar, turning wheel, lever

to stop and start the swell;
while others dip fingers

into a cool marble basin,
then sign their foreheads,

chests, shoulders and lips
with water called blest

before it vapors into air.
In the beginning it felt

like love, or that a promise
was stronger than the hard edge

of a question. Or perhaps it forgot,
just as a weight lifted, soundless,

away from the branch— how only
a small tremble could tell

there once was something
fragile that rested there.

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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