Just audible over the wind: a junco’s chitter. Leaves lift off from the newly melted forest floor and join a harried flock of snowflakes.


  1. Letter to Levity

    Dear buoyancy, dear levity, dear
    little digression; dear necessary respite
    from gravity and circumspection, your voice is
    just audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter—
    Leaves like tongues lift off from the newly melted
    forest floor, busily trading all kinds of news
    from the world— for instance, why did I not know
    before today of Qaddafi’s all-girl coterie of virgin
    bodyguards, smart as models in their khaki outfits;
    or of how he sometimes likes to camp out in five-
    star hotel gardens in a sumptuous, heated Bedouin
    tent guarded by a camel? Or of Unsinkable Molly B,
    the cow that jumped a slaughterhouse gate and fled
    authorities by swimming across the Missouri river?
    (She’s safe now in a Montana sanctuary.) They say
    that Elton John’s in town this weekend: I want to know
    if he’s traveled with the same grand piano that workers
    in Tsarkoye Selo scratched their heads over, wondering
    how to hoist it through the narrow windows of Catherine
    the Great’s gilded ballroom. And what about those three
    men in Malaysia who made off with 725,000 condoms
    (still missing), or the Mexican woman now on her ninth
    day of a hunger strike, demanding an invitation to Prince
    William’s wedding? A 35 year-old naked man was captured
    on surveillance video taking sausages from the kitchen
    of a retirement home. Who knows why these things happen?
    Perhaps an inexplicable longing seized them all in the night,
    some order not to be disobeyed flashed on in the cortex
    of the brain. Once, my daughter’s piano teacher mistook
    a gift of strawberry body butter for yogurt. She called,
    half laughing and half in pain, saying she was just
    so hungry, that it smelled so beautiful and good; and
    suddenly she wanted it, more than anything in the world.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    02 19 2011

      (After Letter to Levity)

      How could you have guessed that my voice is barely
      “audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter?”
      Funny how it’s really reduced to a little snowbird’s
      titter, and I have not heard of that rara avis junk
      since I used it as foil to lads and lasses jumping
      into dark waters wherever filth and penury mingle.

      I cannot stop giggling now on my hammock by the bay,
      although I cannot abide the gauche mongers staring
      at me rolling off into a soft sand splat roaring silly
      reading about Herr Khadaffi, condoms, sausages,
      feasts on strawberry lotion, virgins, and decrepit me.
      But it’s good you wrote me again. I need levity.

      After my last harangue about my rended haunches
      and dying loins on ebbtides and stripped quarry trucks
      revving the bejesus out of my long vacation by the sea,
      I need to travel around this blistered place and back
      and bring with me lyrics of laughter and relics of joy
      and orgiastic screaming on searing summer beaches.

      But all I hear now over my hammock and hoary
      body creaks are the ceaseless banshee of mourning
      and dying in mudslides, drowning in mudfloods,
      crushing skulls in errant temblors, whales beaching
      themselves in sandbar graves, deaths in Tunisia,
      Egypt, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Myanmar.

      And it is not afternoon yet.
      Trala-la. Haha! Trala-la
      Snowflakes crackle with dry leaves.
      Tra-la. Ha-ha!

      Mississauga, Ont. 2-19-11

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