Some say the summer of '__ was the start.
In Hong Kong, hikers walked across the dry
bed of the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir.
In Chennai, dead fish floated to the surface
of nearly barren lakes. Along the northern
California coastline, mussels roasted
on their rocky beds, their scorched shells
gaping at the sky. In Rajasthan the widows
and grandmothers prayed for monsoon, for
lashing rains to feed the fields of millet.
We wondered at what temperature cables on
suspension bridges would melt, if skyscraper
windows would begin to liquefy and sweat
like stacks of ice cubes. Now we know
how waves of weather roil over one
part of the planet and cause
a corresponding intensity in the other.
The moody oceans used to cool as well
as warm. People used to spread blankets
and lie on the beach all day, then run
laughing into the foam. Barefoot children
could walk along the water's edge, looking
for roly polies and skittish sand crabs.
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.