There was no will. They were superstitious like that. To name a thing is to conjure it into being. To spell it out in sections is to establish its jurisdiction and claim. Bank statements and medical records fell under the same category. And so I don’t know where to trace the erratic nature of my blood, my propensity for salt, my aversion to creases, the easy alarms set off beneath my skin. When the doctor describes my breasts as dense and lumpy like cold oatmeal and one hip as tilted like a ballast, I don’t know how to think of the future. Insurance is the belief that there is no crisis that can’t be averted by a steady will. We buy it in increments: monthly, a guarantee that the unforeseen won’t maim when it bites. That spring, when it returns, will be infinitely more interesting than last.
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.