Like a thousand rotting corpses, a woman
in West Palm Beach is quoted in the news,
describing the excrement deposited by
a wake of vultures invading patios
and poolsides of wealthy people's multi-
million dollar vacation homes. Their vomit
contributes to the stench: but this is
apparently what they do, almost as though
afflicted with bulimia, to make themselves
lighter for flight. You wonder what tanned
bodies they found stretched out on deck
chairs, recently oiled and primed with
expensive sunscreen— But perhaps they
were already dead, since National Geographic
says vultures rarely attack living or healthy
animals? It's so unreal you'd laugh out loud,
imagining these dark-robed birds, gaunt
justices screaming Metaphor, metaphor, metaphor!
before beaks come down like gavels, drill
expertly into bones, and marbled fat streams out.
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.