In the fishing village of Sommaroy
where the sun doesn't rise from
November to January and the sun
doesn't set for 69 days from May
to July, people have wrapped
their wristwatches along bridge
railings in order to feel more
unburdened by darkness.
Whereas in Paris, to signify
Forever, couples used to fasten
padlocks to the Pont des Arts
before throwing the key into
the waters of the Seine below.
At the height of a thunderstorm
or during hurricanes, the power
will flicker then go off for hours.
When it comes back, each digital
clock throughout the house flashes
a different time: some randomly reset
to 12:00, others remember when
the power went off. A few seem
to forget what time zone they're in,
and reset to an hour or three
behind. I just read a novel in which
the husband spent 7 years in prison;
when he came out, his wife had moved
on with her life. Would you blame her
for doing so? Would you blame him
for expecting the world as he knew it
not to change? Seals, penguins,
turtles, and whales have been known
to go back to where they were born
in order to breed or die. There's
something in the air that notifies
them when it's time. Their bodies
instinctively rewind, as if
the present ceased to exist,
as if the future is once again
the illusion it always was.
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.