“…imagine the prizes we desire
in the present” ~ D. Bonta

It begins to drizzle when we’re walking
to the car carrying bags of takeout food,

when on the sidewalk a woman in a dark,
full-length beaded dress lighting

what appears to be a blunt sings out Perfect
laughing as she and her companion

weave across the street. Even as we pull
away her voice echoes in my ear; I think

of a mythical bird who waited in the high
branches of a tree— it drops a well-timed

load of shit on the head of some unsuspecting
prince passing through the woodland. In

the story, such targets turn to stone and stay
that way; the forest begins to resemble a park

populated with various ruined statues
slippered in moss. It’ll take someone else’s

courage to gather birdsong without becoming
petrified: to find the spell for restoration.


In response to Via Negativa: Practice makes perfect.

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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