Sweep and arc of yellow light
from passing jeepneys: sieved through
crocheted curtains at the window.
And the rain is always another curtain.
Even the poorest house is draped in it.
Cerveza Negra frosting a glass. Pulutan
on plates. Or someone might order “service
tea” and bowls of chicken mami. In the back,
old-timers hunched over games of chess;
the busboy pausing on his way to the kitchen.
Next door, small glass counter in a corner
of the lobby of Pines Theatre. A child
points to boxes of Milk Duds and Whoppers.
In a styrofoam cooler behind the cash register,
soft drink bottles packed in ice. You remember
a line from this movie, but not its title:
someone singing “Sweet, sweet potato pie.”
There has to be another word besides nostalgia
for what we do when we build whole scenes
and times as we write them. Notice: you don’t
talk about feelings here. Crinkled foil as bags
of chips are torn open. Fingers dipping into these
meagre salt wells. Only a small wooden barrier
sets off the Loge from the general Balcony section.
Walking outside you blink, adjusting to the light;
and signs lighting up Assandas and Bheroomull’s.
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.