by Luisa A. Igloria

an envelope enclosing a letter,
bread spore poised to proliferate upon

clean surfaces of lukewarm milk and water—
Dried sprig of sage or lavender,

evergreen whose scented spikes
forever line my cabinets and drawers—

Garter stitch, you snake through my ragged
hemlines; your name felts my wet lashes. Dark-orbed

iris, your aperture closes and widens. Your smooth
jawline clenches and unclenches.

Keepsake, medal I pin to my underclothes
like an amulet: you are varied as moss,

modular as water; molecular, and more maternal.
No other raft of baggage compares.

Odometer recording my distances, unidentified
perfume on the periphery of a waking dream: often, I

query your mutable nature, your
repetitions, your irrefutable refrains.

Some days are marble, some are parchment:
they lie in a mantle of heat then tear

under the pressure of what’s tender.
Vise-like, your grip pries open, then

welds itself to my nature,
exacting the perfect price.

You know me best by now: my vessel and pearl,
zeitgeist, world I inhabit that inhabits me.


Luisa A. Igloria was selected by a panel of judges (former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott) as the 2015 (inaugural) winner of the Resurgence Poetry Prize, the world’s first major ecopoetry award. Luisa is the author of the eChapbook Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press, spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), Trill & Mordent (WordTech Editions, 2005) and 8 other books. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, hand-binds books, knits, listens to tango music, and keeps her radar tuned for cool lizard sightings.


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