Originally from Baguio City, Luisa A. Igloria is the author of the eChapbook Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (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 (2014); and 11 other books. From 2009-2015, she directed the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, where she is on the poetry faculty. Since November 20, 2010, she has been writing (at least) a poem a day. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/luisa-a-igloria
1. The shadow-self is truer: it wants to sit with you, here–
The shadow-self is truer: it wants to sit with you, here—
It wants to know about your day, its details in your hands;
it wants the aftertaste of mint, coffee, vermouth, hot sex—
whatever rumors linger on your breath of where you’ve been.
The shadow-self is truer— it wants to sit with me here:
easing with a smile and the scent of bergamot cologne
into the chair across from mine. I watch the muted hue
of a five-o-clock shadow dapple in the window light
and marvel: what brings you back, so often, despite?
The shadow-self is truer. I want to sit with you here.
2. Modified Sweetelle, with Leftover Sweets at my Desk
Emily knocks at my door, asks for a chocolate kiss.
She rummages through the bag on my table: remnants of
Halloween sweets, mints and lollies; candy wrapped with gold foil,
some in the shape of lidded coffins. But the taste of death
is not what we’re after, not yet, not even its pucker—
We’ve come through winter, bent our heads when winds blew darker.
I hoarded lean and came out fat, my hair a shade whiter;
then I lifted the brown bulb of my heart out of the soil
when weather changed— You know how it is to feel too rooted.
Only what’s sweet today: not death, not even its pucker.
3. Translucent in the sun, the laurel is a blaze of gloss—
Translucent in the sun, the laurel is a blaze of gloss—
And everything in the woods beyond recedes, a darker,
more nebulous hue. Light spun like pieces of fractured glass:
and out of habit, it’s there I looked for you. Beyond reach,
translucent in the sun, the laurel was a blaze of gloss.
Vivid green, leaves of the lilac sent up a shimmering.
That tremor, delicious shiver of light along the spine,
is grained upon the flesh. Turning to it I remembered
warmth that stoked the blaze, sheen that led to blistering.
Translucent in the sun, the laurel is a blaze of gloss.
*Note: In March 2012, poet Allison Joseph created a new form which she is calling the Sweetelle. In her words: “The sweetelle … has 10 lines, 14 syllables per line and refrain lines at line 1, line 5 and line 10. The poem can have a rhyme scheme if the poet wishes, but end-rhyme is not required. The lines can be metered or syllable count lines.”