~ Mellisuga helenae
It’s so quiet at night.
In these rooms, each one
prays in her own compartment
to whatever gods might listen
this side of the ocean. Don’t you
want to be accounted for too,
invited in: no longer the permanent
house guest, no longer the dark-
skinned maid with the chamois rag,
betrothed to furniture perennially
in need of polishing? The silences
don’t necessarily mean the saints
have retreated into their rose quartz
caverns, lain down in their fern-lined
crypts. If you see a butterfly or humming-
bird drumming on a plume for nectar,
think of what the soul must have been
before it fell into this world.
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 the chapbooks Haori (Tea & Tattered Pages Press, 2017), Check & Balance (Moria Press/Locofo Chaps, 2017), and Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015); plus the full length works 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. Visit her online at www.luisaigloria.com.