and some to the edge of town in a caravan:
cars with lights flashing, escorted by
police on motorcycles. Some days bring
you to another freshly excavated plot
in the ground, entrance to the underworld
bordered by grass so unnervingly green.
How can the stone angels remain unmoved
at each body riddled with holes, lowered
in caskets as mourners toss flowers
torn from their stalks? Somewhere in
the dark, the bull sits, grinding his teeth
in his lair. And in a high-ceilinged room,
the mouth of the oven opens and flames
engulf flesh and bone until only ashes
are left, swept into an urn with bright
specks of metal from teeth or fractured joints.
This one stepped in front of another, or pushed
with his back against a perforated door. This
one died tackling the gunman to the floor.
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.