Cento: Earth & Air

Look at us, she said. We are all of us in this room
still waiting to be transformed.

Is
the lake a lake, the bird a bird, or but a fake
shadow, a half-thing?

face stamped
into a coin, what’s left of the body
in the belly of a bird

We lay on rugs on spongy moss
huddled for warmth

Soil
blooded to rustfruit, eyebright

I have a poem in which the universe is like a vocal cord

There was
no deeper meaning.

*

Source Texts:
Louise Gluck, “An Endless Story”
Michael Farrell, “Verlaine in the Lake”
Sam Sax, “Bury”
James Harpur, “The Perseids”
Nam Le, “Aubade”
Alice Notley, “Why Are You Writing These”
Sandra Lim, “Chanson Douce”

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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