(after "The Feathered Cloud," Armando Valero)
Before the change came a moment
of intense attention. The dark
had not yet fallen. The horizon
still glowed blue and gold;
stalks of grass had not yet
been hewn to stubble. Looking
around, I could still gain
the sense of prelude and chapter,
a faint moon hovering like a cloudy
coin over an insinuation of water.
I thought, foolishly, one needed
only to observe certain types
of decorum. Straight spine; eyes
clear, not yet milky with doubt
and distortion. Fingers imbued
with a sense of intention.
So let me tell you: when the air
thrashes with wings and your inner
ear fills with whispers, listen
before they too vanish in silence.
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.