1. Letter to Love

    Dear fellow wanderer, familiar now as my twin,
    more handsome than my shadow: all these years
    we’ve stopped at the same wayside inn to share
    quick meals, a cup of coffee, talk about our days
    and where we’ve been— And yet we never linger
    longer than an hour, perhaps two, before the claims
    of the world descend again. But now I don’t know
    which is more magnetic: that tilt of sky, the road,
    plain countryside rampant with scent, tall grass
    where the wind could lift our names higher.
    Memory or dream, was that your kiss under my
    eyelid’s flicker? I miss you even before you’ve taken
    leave. This morning is full of the cries of woodpeckers—
    part ululation, part rusty hinge. Your heart goes
    with them, or forages among the stones with sparrows,
    trusting in what it finds. You never say *So long*
    or *Au revoir*, only *Next time will be sweeter*.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    04 15 2011


    What is it like without sounds?
    Would a ululation define grief,
    would it simply be the wind’s howl?

    The rusty hinge creaking when
    her door opens, would that be dull,
    even if she had expected a coy call

    much like a touch on her cold back,
    that she might learn to want again?
    Would these woodpeckers be sentinels?

    Would lullabies be stark pantomimes?
    The ringing of the steeple churchbells,
    would they gather us to pray at the hill?

    What would it be like, to see, not hear
    the rush of a creek stream murmur like
    the rhythmic flapping of butterfly wings?

    Would there be ardour in an embrace,
    release in a muted sigh, an ebbing
    in the frenzied flow of fluid love sounds?

    Would the wordless silence of a glance
    across that crowded room be keener
    if there were whispers accompanying it?

    Would the sounds of a sunrise make
    its bravura brighter, or a silent cockcrow
    signal the urgency of a newfound day?

    O, that I could see the sounds of silence
    and hear the soundless wail of despair!
    I would not need to ask these questions.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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