Letter, Fumbling Around in the Dark Again
“They can be like the sun, words.
They can do for the heart what light can for a field.”
— St. John of the Cross
Dear fellow pilgrim, today the road seems
a little less cold, a little less clear as we inch
toward the warm mud of April. The hems
of our tunics are far from the earth, our jeans
are double-cuffed. For fear of rain, the cardinal
doesn’t want to hang her prayer flags in the trees.
A few stray flakes come down, like bits of frozen
milk: and I’m out of coffee. Where’s the nearest stop,
some diner where we might use the loo and get
a bit of soup, a knuckle of bread? I know we’re not
going to the Alhambra to walk in the gardens or catch
the view from the Mirador de Lindajara; we’re not
even on the famous road to Santiago de Compostela
where the saint’s remains lie like a star, his bones
unfold like the thorns of a compass rose buried in
the depths of a field … Groucho Marx knew that nights
are dark as the inside of a dog’s belly — but isn’t that
why book lights were invented? I don’t give up easy.
I’m fumbling around for the light switch, for the power
cord, for the fuse box. And there’s got to be something
with which to jimmy the skylights — Think of how
we could open our mouths to evenings of falling stars.
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Igloria, a poet, is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass, among other titles, including two recent chapbooks, Haori and Check & Balance. She teaches on the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Visit luisaigloria.com for more information about her work.
Poem used with permission of the author.