Is the oasis still pure and cool after the wing of a dove or a falcon's shadow crosses it? Raptors have been known to dive for prey from over two hundred miles away. According to Fermat's principle, the path taken by light between two points is the shortest distance. In the shadow-theatre, sticks and bones make puppets come to life behind a cotton sheet. It's light, too, that flays their costumes of painted leather; they tremble from manipulation, in joy or rage or sorrow. Here is the girl that sits by a tree or a wall, waiting for a lion or her lover, her dark blue skirt arranged like a spell around her. And here is a hunter whose arrow pulls back before it flies into its target. A chorus delivers lines of foreknowledge. The gamelans shimmer all together; after they cease, the air is a lake of a hundred echoes.
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.