The wife? She is gone. The mansion of her dreams? Diminished every day in the mist. The gravel driveway is still there. I tend to each stone, unpolished gem in a scattershot setting. Green plants humor me and send out leaf after leaf or flags of color that I try to decode. Each day I walk to the riverbank to see if the fish has returned. In my head, I turn over and over like a coin the words I once heard someone say: what comes to your hand when you call becomes yours to tame. How did she even know about the fish? But I remember the night I first laid eyes on her— She wore a dress the color of smoke. The light fell on dark waves of her hair as she punched keys on the cash register. Young then, and brash, I motioned to her with my hand. She gave me the merest look of disdain. I barely remember how it changed and I became vassal, emissary. Every lover exchanges the world of reliable surface for one with overlapping seams. I believed I would serve best by pleasing the other. The gods darted in and out of the shallows, fish-tailed, quicksilver. I spoke to each of them in turn, delivered their messages: the beloved on one hand, destiny on the other. But who will translate the sounds I make, my cries?
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She 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 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.