“Circle of Cranes” by Luisa A. Igloria

Luisa A. Igloria


I will stand like the flame in the flame…
I will stand very still in your absence…
—David St. John

They have stepped out of one
rectangular sheet, the six
that now touch wingtip
to wingtip and, wordless,
hum the white notes of the song
hollowed out of paper—anthem
of a kind of reverse creation:
folded from substance,
a well of apparently

But even so the empty
space shimmers: a disc
echoing still with the swift
crosswise slash of scissors
the careful pruning of neck
from neck and wing
from wing

Newly sprung, each
genuflects stiffly to the empty
circle, remembering how
the grasp of the world
came coursing through
the limbs; and what
it felt like to lift entire,
like dying, from
the blade

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007


Luisa Igloria: “I’d never been in a creative writing workshop until I was thirty and in the first year of the doctoral program at University of Illinois at Chicago. Before that I pretty much worked on my own, sharing and reading work with a handful of friends who also wrote, and reading as much poetry as I could get my hands on. Now I make my permanent residence in America, and facilitate poetry workshops (I’m on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia). What I want to tell my students is that poetry is the line we need to keep open because it connects us to what’s not yet completely broken in or domesticated. I like how it keeps a restlessness alive in me.” (website)

Rattle Logo