Inside the periphery, the smell
of chlorine bleach and lemons.
The brown husk of a cockroach
beached in a corner of the room.
Who can say how limits are drawn
when water in fact isn’t separate
from earth, when the ground extends
as a series of linked platforms
under wells and lakes and fountains
arcing over granite slabs in the square?
You try to leave: like the navy sending
its fleet into the high seas, like lines
of birds moving in the shape of one
arm pulling itself away from a sleeve.
It’s no use: even in sleep you carry
the wind’s voice, its folded
handkerchief in your pocket.
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.