Switched-on Gutenberg Vol. 6, No. 2
Wish You Were Here

(The Amber Room, Yekaterinsky dvorets, Tsarkovoe Selo)

All morning we waited, spoke in the rain
under steaming umbrellas, of monuments
and shrines along the road. We lent our coats
to others. Wind stroked the curved courtyard pink
with gravel. Later, behind massive doors,
our feet in soot-colored slippers, wheels
clicked and turned. We blinked at outlines, at shadows
and illuminations. One face refracted
in mirrors and gilded panels, one knocked
its bones on cabinets with inlaid roses.
Parlors gashed with crimson, crumpled green foil;
and then one room where the white ruched curtains
became mottled skin, became ferrous oxide,
resin. I paused on the threshold, the broken carapace.

Copyright 2004,  Luisa A. Igloria

Luisa A. Igloria, poet, fictionist, and essayist, is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program and Department of English, Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Virginia). She was a finalist in the 2003 Larry Levis Editors Prize for Poetry from The Missouri Review, as well as a Fulbright Fellow and recipient of three National Book Awards from the Manila Critics' Circle, eleven Palanca Awards, and a Palanca Hall of Fame distinction for work in three genres. Luisa is the editor of Not Home, But Here: Writing from the Filipino Diaspora (Anvil, 2003) and has published five poetry books, including Blood Sacrifice (Univ. of the Philippines Press, 1997) and In the Garden of the Three Islands (Moyer Bell/Asphodel, 1995).


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