The flowers on your coat don’t keep still

~ after Armando Valero, “The Little Singer

Day after day brings a panic—
stampede of mothers and children
and goats along a fence, involuntary
movement of arms shielding faces
from a violent spray of gas.
Which is to say, some dreams
seem more extravagant than
others, and yet there are those
among us who will walk for weeks
to touch one. Above, the planets
teeter in their own fire. Nothing
lasts. Or rather, everything ceded
in the end prevails. The goat bleats
and the yellow bird bugles to the moon.
You don’t see or hear the cost of this
pleading so I will illustrate with
the shape of my arms, with hands
making the gesture for warding off
what wants to kill or maim us all.

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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