Contiguous

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.

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