Wraith-white, milk-white, rind that wrapped everything close in this village shaped like a woman’s breast. Even the horses looked wrought in old silver, grazing on ghost-like plains. Outside in the street, assortment of shoes paired in a grey procession: leather brogues, brocaded slippers, clogs hewn from the flanks of fallen boughs, babies’ booties. The line they made stretched from the capitol and ended at the riverbank. I heard the earnest sound of their progress on the cobblestones, their chafing arguments. I was told to go outside and just observe. I was told there was no interest in arriving at epiphany. I was told to dwell only in idea, eschew any tendency to uncover such things as inherent properties. The sky was filled with voluptuous forms— Clouds hung in clusters, as though butter-heavy. A sign on the underpass said: Do Not Sift. Two women sat in a room, solemnly sniffing each other’s armpits. Cats circled the terrace then sleeked their glistening fur. I wanted badly to find a store where I could buy a box of matches, a beautiful silk tie, sushi grass that smelled and tasted like cilantro; a metal cup in which to cool the water I never drink enough of.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 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. 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.