Why does the wheat in the field bend
as soon as the crickets hush, long
before the wind's dark, curving scythe
reaches out across the countryside?
Why does the smell of heat escaping
from the earth taste like the bowl
of a pewter spoon? At the coffee
shop, Sarah is the one who likes
to bring dream flavors to life:
blackberry with an undercurrent
of tarragon and almond, ginger
in a haze of orange so coffee's
bitter heart is complex after all,
full of old drama besides no sugar
anymore, no cream. Once, you parted
my lips; I tasted licorice and copper.
Once I shunned the heat of peppers until
I could say their names— Tellicherry
and Malabar; Kampot, Muntok, and
the Szechuan that numbs the tongue.
How could we call to the elusive
that we don't even know we crave?
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.