Luisa A. Igloria

Markus Akesson, The Passage, 2012Markus Åkesson

Sunday Afternoon

From Café Florentin
on Giles Street

everything is yellow—
Sunflower trim

Thick paint on door-
knob and frame

Emerging from cardigans
lemony wedges

of shoulders turned
up to the sun

The bubbly yellow crust
of my hot

croissant au jambon
with cheese

The woman in the vivid
red blouse

with dark hair
and the man in corduroy

slacks are kissing
And behind the speckled

counter the surly
waitress is ringing up the till

Markus Akesson, Child's Play, 2011


I will never marry, never have
children, declares the youngest daughter

holding the crotch of cotton underpants
under the cool of running water

This is something they all say
soon after the first blood comes

She doesn’t have to wear chemises
or lie on an old roll of bedding in the corner

but she divines how light can pass
through the bones of crackled celadon

as if to gild as if through
skin as if to set apart

Markus Akesson, Insomnia (Mayuko), 2011

from Three Brass Rubbings

Dragon (Cambridge)

It’s said luck follows those 
born in the year of the fire-breather, 
a time blue with the sticky, fluted
scales of rain-moths.

When we walk in the streets,
our clothes and cheeks smeared
with the tarry silver of their smashed
bodies fallen through windshields
of air, we know they herald
the long rains.

What pure love or temporary 
blindness propels them forward,
as though singed by visions of cows,
barns, thatch-roofed castle keeps
going up in long breaths? Bronze
flames to shishkebab them in neon,
tattooing the brave song of a thousand
tiny hara-kiris on puckered flesh.

When I glance at rooftops, conspiring 
gargoyles glare and stone angels lift 
their heavy wings, webbed from the base 
and held together by marble joints, not 
some homemade paste of honey
and beeswax.

And that socket of liquid silver 
in the sky, that open eye— how easily 
it might pick me out, stubborn traveler 
on the open plain, clutching a sheaf of paper, 
cunning fetishes dangling from each 
foolish ear; provisions I will loyally 
rise to defend as beautiful and not 
entirely useless, like lightning rods.

Nevertheless, the heart drums a fervent
prayer for salvation: my soul, then,
only so much chaff, notwithstanding;
any second now, waiting to go up 
in a puff of smoke.

Luisa A. Igloria spring 2012Luisa A. Igloria is a poet and professor, and the author of The Saints of Streets (forthcoming from the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize), Trill & Mordent (WordTech Editions, 2005), and eight other books. Luisa has degrees from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was a Fulbright Fellow from 1992-1995. She teaches on the faculty of Old Dominion University, where she currently directs the MFA Creative Writing Program. Since November 20, 2010, she has been writing (at least) a poem a day at Dave Bonta’s Via Negativa site. She enjoys cooking with her family, book-binding, and listening to tango music.

Luisa A. Igloria’s Website

Luisa A. Igloria at University of Notre Dame Press

Luisa A. Igloria at WordTech Editions

Luisa A. Igloria at Old Dominion University

Luisa A. Igloria at Via Negativa

Luisa A. Igloria at Solace in a Book