Catalysis

I am always trying to make my way

to that clearing where the gods

hewn from wood sit patiently

watching over their stores of grain—

They fix me with a look I can feel

no matter how far I still am

from that goal: by the shiver

that runs down my spine I know the light

cupped by each tree late in the day

is beaten almost to its thinnest;

a sheet that ripples, numen in each

dent and vein. And I am draped

in the cloth of everything woven before

my time: syllables issue from my lips

in sleep, whose meanings I ache for

all the hours I’m awake. Take me

in your arms, I beg of the unseen.

They only stroke my cheek the same

way I was nudged as a child, made

to keep up on a path whose end

kept vanishing in the just up ahead.

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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