This week when a man shouts Get out
of my country and opens fire on two brown
men sharing beers on the patio of a restaurant-
bar, it is not a dream. Today when a software
engineer returning to New York from Lagos
is given a test by border officials to prove
his tech credentials, it is not a dream.
When the foreign-born gallery owner
who is a legal resident is detained for more
than nine hours before being deported to Argentina,
it is not a dream. When a child traveling with his mother
is separated from her and taken alone to a holding cell,
it is not a dream. When the insolent border guard
shouts Arabic? Arabic? repeatedly at a grandmother
in a wheelchair who does not speak English but Farsi,
it is not a dream. All of this is happening
right now wherever the real agents of hate
and terror are drawing heavy lines and putting up
barriers in the common soil. That’s where we
need to insist on language: for every dark wound.
In response to Via Negativa: Hawk.
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.