Forgive us for our excesses. Tea, seven kinds, including gifts: Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Oolong, Sencha, Matcha, Citrus Blend, Winter Spice. Coffee: in individual pods, and grounds in bags. Noodles: rice, wheat, potato. Dry beans, canned beans. Flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder. Grains: rice, lentil, dry couscous. Eggs and bread. Bay leaves, peppercorns, pink and white salt. Garlic cloves the size of two thumbs. In the freezer: chicken breasts and thighs, ground pork; dried fish from two years ago. Grated lemon rind in a plastic bag. Frozen blocks of butter. Soy beans, frozen stew. Zucchini and bitter melon, tomatoes; knobs of ginger next to the half full box of miso. By the front door, denim jackets on the coat rack; canvas bags and rain shedders. Shoes and shoes and shoes and shoes and shoes and shoes. On the second floor, four low walls of books. Underwear, socks, clothes. Paper towels, toilet paper. Woven runners and counted stitch fabric brought from overseas: birds I might not ever see again; and mountains and chevron bars. Bottles of water ready to load in the car. A plastic box not yet packed with important documents. Document, from the Old French; meaning lesson, written evidence; from Latin documentum meaning example, proof, lesson; in Medieval Latin, official written instrument; meaning something written that provides proof or evidence. Of who we are or were in case we get erased.
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.