Compline

by on May 27, 2016

“Will the bird rise flaming out of broken light?” ~ Karen An-hwei Lee

When your arms encircled my waist from behind,
I thought a bird had come to light on my shoulder—

and I could not speak immediately for feeling
how densely overgrown the floor of the forest had become,

how at odd times in the night a ringing begins
on the shore of one ear and echoes across to the other.

You walked across the barrier and met me at the gate,
and it took minutes for us to realize we were in tears.

Now, days after, I look around: everything the eye
picks out wants to be the color of a sunset, of clementines.

Imagine small words like fragments of bone:
ten of them strung together are called a mystery;

and I know I am unqualified, but sometimes
I dare to address the future in intimate terms.

 


Luisa A. Igloria 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 Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for 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, Montreal, 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 teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015.