Iowa Writes


As if I'd seen enough,
my vision starts to go around the edges.
As if my circle of sight were a timepiece,
the face of the man at seven o'clock disappears.
As if I were giving stars too much importance,
a ring of small, flashing prisms haloes the knives at the table.
As if they'd become less important to me, these people eating,
their little moves, their fingers, the water in their glasses — they fade.
Fade, as if they would still talk forever; even without their bodies
they would talk. As if talk were a white noise
that has something to do with darkness.
Darkness, as if I'd returned to my grandmother's house,
as if I'd recalled the silent pianola,
the photos of the dead, brown and stiff in their silver frames.
As if the dust still held to the one breath of light coming in from the veranda.
As if it held, as I'd said can't you love me a little?

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Ina Cumpiano, a Puerto Rican poet and translator currently at the University of Santa Cruz, has recent work in Seneca Review, Five Fingers Review, and Latin American Literary Review. Eight of her children's books written in Spanish will be published by Hampton Brown this year.

"Migraine," originally published in the Winter 1991 (21.1) issue of The Iowa Review, can be found on the magazine's free online archives.

This page was first displayed
on August 23, 2013

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