1. Landscape, with Small Flakes and Far-off Bandoneon

    “Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
    Attend upon them still.”

    – W. B. Yeats, “The Wild Swans at Coole”

    In today’s paper, an obituary for a scholar
    who’d once taught in our midst– he died
    Sunday, nearly two weeks to the day his wife
    passed, just a few days after the new year. I knew
    who they were but didn’t really know them:
    might have seen them at the local coffee shop,
    reading the news and eating toasted bagels; or
    walking past the laundromat, melting into
    the crowd of couples out for brunch. I’d never
    thought too much about what it might be like to grow
    old alone, or lonely; had more than once declared
    that travel solo might be the better way to go–
    no expectations, no one to have to pick up for
    or after, no epics to endure and survive for dubious
    reward (roots like mangroves’ anchored
    in marshy soil… ) But even when the narrative’s over,
    when the loggers have loaded up the rig and rolled
    out of town (inaudible hush, low clouds
    suspended above the highway), something in the air
    will shimmer, something will always catch.
    I stick an arm out, and white motes dot my sleeve.
    I lean my forehead on the windowpane and feel my
    bindings loosen. I want to hear the air puffed out
    the sides of a bandoneon, to master the tangled
    slide of paired legs across a polished floor.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    01 25 2011


    It’s time we found the highway,
    we seem to be driving in circles,
    and the breaking circles are obscured
    by the constantly hugging low clouds
    that wrap around legs like children
    pleading: Don’t go away, don’t go!

    The highway sounds close, the hush
    has broken into the steady hum
    of the scrambling city—we will be
    there before sundown, and get on
    with put-off plans to ride down
    those highways: We cannot go back.

    The freeway sounds close,
    the shimmering air smells of carbon
    burning away the creeping clouds
    that have waylaid us on our rush
    to get out and not come back
    to old houses and blackened ponds
    too distant to remember. It is late.

    Mississauga, 1-25-11

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