It isn’t gone yet if it can open

~ after Armando Valero, “Memory of a Dreamed Blue Flower

It is autumn again and we gather
the leaves that fall seemingly without
ceasing. The painter looks at a scroll
of vines and paints their likeness
on panels of orange silk, as if to say
there is another world where all we love
could go on living; where we won’t
have to hold up our hands in surrender,
or hold them over our hearts as if we know
the great ache of what is coming—
your watch, resting undisturbed under a film
of yellow pollen, the hour hand gone,
the minute fixed at four o’clock; my dress,
its rows of embroidered volutes fading
against a field of rubbed velvet.
You want to pluck the last surprising,
misplaced bloom of the season but I
won’t let you. Come away— let’s
think of it there, fixed on its branch,
throat all the way open as we walk
back into our lives and work,
arms linked or swinging.

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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