Luisa A. Igloria


I dreamt of lines of fish drying, their bodies
scaled and butterflied and left to leather in the sun,
the coast and fishermen’s nets gritty backdrop

to water’s insistent reruns. You were somewhere
on the beach, your body covered with sand, your face
shielded from the heat by a newspaper. Drowsing

or asleep, you didn’t move; you lay as if dead.
I dug little holes and watched for sand fiddlers.
I looked for whelks, brittle shells, and bits

of broken glass. Before mid-afternoon, you rose
like an idol, ran into the sea to rinse off
the crust of what had hardened and clung.


In the white sift from low-
slung branches, I saw pages
before the shadows of wings
wrote their script.

What is your intention?
I asked, walking into the heart
of the cold to bring my one
wish as offering.

Somewhere I heard the sound
of an ax splitting wood,
the soft weight of two halves
falling equally to the ground.


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.