~ after Armando Valero, "Noche y Dia"
Is the moon a button or a plate,
or an egg floating on the surface
of a graphite field? Has today's
mail disappeared into a hole
someone has dug around the base
of a tree? Someone's rent is always
due yesterday, last week, last month.
Because the mail was not delivered,
the landlord says he can't be held responsible.
Because the heater in the cold house conked out
the third time this winter, we make a game
of catching the sun's rays in the depths
of a silver dish. When finally we lay down
and fell asleep in our cots after working
in the orchards, did we hear as if in a dream,
voices beneath the window discussing the bad
smell of our cooking and the scalloped
accents patterning our tongue? A storm
is coming and we are in its way. Or a storm
is flying away over the ocean: because we shine
the light back into its eyes, it flees, shrieking,
shaking the many snakes sprouting from its head.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 2020. She 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 former US Poet Laureate 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.