"Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate..."
~ "Dido's Lament: When I Am Laid in Earth"
I look around and there's still so much I need
to put in garbage bags, sort for the thrift
shop, fold for another season beyond
this one. And at the tail end of summer,
one length of fence began to sag, as things
will do after many years, waterlogged.
I think about the times I feel like giving
up, giving in: just like the shore's ragged hem
to the sea's steady encroaching. But then I come
for instance upon a book of tickets or an old
silk dress, its print of ferns and split leaf
philodendra now muted green and yellow—
I think I wore it last walking around
Philadelphia in the heat, going from museum
to museum, then sitting under the shade
while someone snapped a picture. There
in the backdrop, a mural on a trattoria wall:
its giant scale making small impressions
of our figures. Years later, always
years later— wonder of wonders, this
register: the pulse that beats
its undertone of regret, meaning
there's something yet, apparently,
that it desires. And so on, down
the changing inventory of days:
we count and carry, buy or trade, set
aside what we imagine others might want
after we've passed on, or just gone past
the need for more possessions. Sometimes,
too, they've not even once been used.
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.