As in to cleave, to render in two
or more that which formerly was
one: as in we used to share the same
body, remember? One stretch of flesh
wrapped around our unchambered heart,
these limbs that windmilled around
each other in a box before the green
garden gate unlatched. I am still
afraid of rodents and snakes, of the way
they spit out the bitter seed but blame
the world for the first mouthful of desire
and its disappointing, cottony after-
taste. Now it's fall again, and nature
dramatizes with its red and gold
the universal crisis of impermanence.
The glue that held summer to the tree
and the tree to each plump fruit
thins and purples in the shade.
Apiaries begin to quietly empty
their cells of drones to make
more room for winter stores. Every
story sheds layer upon layer of warm
skin until all that's left is the cold,
hard stone of its original seeking. As in
to parse sugar from the rind, pulp
from the seed which, when dried,
might be given back with purpose
to the soil from which it came.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 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; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. 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.