Mortal Ghazal: a video poem by Luisa A. Igloria and Swoon.
My friend sent me a lei of strawflowers from the city of our childhood:
brittle corollas of yellow undercut by orange that we called Everlasting.
I remember the slides in the park, and the kiddy train one summer: it looped around its
periphery, a blur of red and orange. Just a few minutes, but the ride seemed everlasting.
And women from the hills, their baskets filled with dried snipe, amulets, herbs;
their woven skirts striped vivid orange (the sound of their voices everlasting)—
In that world, everything seemed possible; in that world, time seemed almost too slow.
Now I’m brought up short in the shoals as the sun reddens in the sky, unrelenting—
At sunrise, two birds call—heraldic, but fleeting. Such tender things in the world;
smudged with blue, capped with little streaks of rust. Glyphs from the everlasting.
Tell me I haven’t done too little, that I’ve made some difference to you;
even if in the end I might be judged wanting, unhinged: mortal, not everlasting.
—Luisa A. Igloria