Recalculate the seasons. Rewrite The Farmer’s Almanac. Research new forms of lightning vanes for multi-forked strikes. High, thin and cold cover of cirrus clouds: find out how to thin them more. Falling sunlight, melting ice. The pull of gravity reaching deep into the bones. And yes, there are days when nothing seems to work, and I don’t know how to comfort you. I try to remember what my grandmother said about herbs and hallucinogenics: which leaves, when chewed, bring on a clammy sweat and which, when pounded into paste, lead one briefly to clear water in the middle of a lake. Lying beneath a black sky you might feel the tremors beginning again under the earth. It is a hundred degrees, close to midnight. A fig tree at the edge of the field has put forth a few small knobs of fruit. Swelling out like hips, not quite ripe yet; but how sadly erotic they are. Winds like knives slash at the topmost parts of trees. Months ago, most of the water found exit hatches. Silvery rivulets drained into the ground, leaving their dry calligraphy behind.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2020-22, and in 2021 received 1 of 23 Poet Laureate Fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation. She is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.