Bone: A Meditation


This morning, rinsing a porcelain bowl before setting it

on the dishwasher rack along with others, I notice

the tiniest fracture— Thin as a fingernail tip,

but how long before it widens, before a larger piece

shears off the surface, a plane like ice loosened

by gravity or the rinse cycle’s warmth?

In Fort Santiago, it’s said there is preserved

a part of the hero’s vertebra: chipped by one

bullet in the hail that guardia civil fired

from their rifles to end his life, just as he

twisted around to die facing his executioners.

The Roman poet Juvenal declared: Fortune can,

for her pleasure, fools advance, And toss them

on the wheels of Chance— Do you see here

how he refused? The voice of the revolution

gathers, grows louder than wingbeats.

Fissure, rent in the fabric, long ripple in the grass:

nothing too small to launch against history.




Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Glass, Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 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, Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014, The Saints of Streets, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013, Juan Luna’s Revolver, 2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press, and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015.