I want to remember what word
to use for rain that falls
through a curtain of sunlight; what
word to use for rain that makes one
sound when pouring on balconies, and
another for when it reminds you of eggs
beaten to a cloudy texture in the bowl.
Is there a word for loneliness in the shape
of a blade, and another for when it is
the whetstone you could press your whole
self against, because the world has not
stopped delivering wounds? Emerson wrote:
We were put into our bodies, as fire
is put into a pan, to be carried about.
So then, if we are more than rain or
the absence of rain; if we are, as he says,
not the conveyance whether made of tin
or of beaten copper but the fire itself,
made of it, then let the damp, sputtering
sequence of days not be impediment. Let
the body sway in the world as a metal rod
ready to conduct flame, or feeling.
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.