By Luisa A. Igloria

~ 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.