In childhood, often I confused words I knew only a little about for other words: for instance, overhearing my father on the phone conveying his sympathies to a friend who had lost a family member, I wondered why he kept bringing up that sweet-sticky milk I liked to smear like jam on my bread. Condense, condolence. In a way grief is sticky like that, and when you have opened the can it’s as if you have to keep going until you reach the bottom, until there is nothing left and your teaspoon hits metal and the sound lets you know there isn’t any more. So you rinse it at the sink, you put it away and teach yourself gradually the differences between guillotine and glutton, animate and anemone, windfall and waterfall.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) 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 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. 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.