PoetrySnaps! Margarita Cruz: Like Stars, Like Feathers
Margarita Cruz is our guest this week in the latest installment of Poetrynaps! She was always a fiction writer, but Cruz says it was a life-threatening medical crisis that turned her into a poet. Poetry was therapeutic in her recovery and gave her a place to put her grief, a central theme in much of Cruz’s writing. She weaves the idea of loss through the poem she shares with us today, Like Stars, Like Feathers.
This poem surrounds the death of my uncle. I think there’s a lot of ways to conceal and reveal in poetry. I have a really difficult relationship with my biological family. I think there’s a lot of nostalgia in this; I grew up just outside Phoenix with the monsoon and thinking about how, at the time of his death, it was the hottest summer it had been in a while. There weren’t very many monsoons. It was just a different thing. I was trying to understand what was going on in that moment. The white lilies were really a thing that fell off a casket, and to me that was so crazy of a notion and a little ghostly. It forever haunted me, so I just wanted to capture that in this poem.
Like Stars, Like Feathers
Loss floats like feathers,
mowing the lawn just after a monsoon
the smell of it everywhere,
stuck just under a button up shirt.
& sunsets truth into skin.
Dark skies are night skies but all the time.
& don’t you feel it?
when the clouds parted
the mentzelia raised their heads toward the sky in hopes
the sun would come out,
instead dim constellations.
Stars become just remnants—
like the voicemail left on my father’s phone,
white lilies on his rented casket
entangled in hair and when a breeze from the window blew them
About the poet:
Margarita Cruz is a writer and educator based in Flagstaff. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University and is president of the Northern Arizona Book Festival and a regular contributor to Flagstaff Live! Cruz’s work has been featured in DIAGRAM, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and the Academy of American Poets Poem a Day series.
About the host:
Steven Law is the co-producer of KNAU’s series PoetrySnaps! He is a poet, essayist, storyteller, and the author of Polished, a collection of poems about exploring the Colorado Plateau by foot and by raft.
About the music:
Original music by Flagstaff-based band Pilcrowe.
PoetrySnaps! airs the first and third Friday of each month.