Directive

The lab tech asks me
to make a fist after she swabs
the inside of my arm, tightening
the tourniquet.

When the needle goes
in and the blood rises, she asks
if I’ve made arrangements for
a living will, an advance

directive. I can’t think
of what to say to the dark
swirl of viscous liquid pouring
as if without effort from me

into the glass vials, to
the fold of gauze pressed
on the site and covered with
a band-aid. What do we do

with things that move
forward despite anything?
From Middle to Old
English: willen, wollen;

meaning to will, to choose,
to wish. As in to be seized
by the desire for morning light,
wood smells, cold salt air.

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.

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