their pincers trussed with rubber bands
though they're still immersed in water
(a sad-looking tank in one corner of
the grocery store); and we are sad for all
the exotic fruit no one will buy: cherimoyas
and horned jelly melons, softening to tallow
in their trays. Who thinks anymore of the glut
of cranberries, as soon as foil-wrapped
pots of poinsettia appear in the island
displays? A while ago, a show played
on the TV monitors of a sushi bar;
we watched as two chefs rowed extra-long-
handled wooden ladles in water, prodding
four eels awake. When they lit a fire beneath,
we understood it was a giant chafing dish.
The water boiled; the eels burrowed into
the cool center of a large block of tofu
near the top, floating half in, half out
of the water. Can you think of one good
reason to justify making our hunger
more pointed than it is, or more like a fable
meant to demonstrate how danger whips
the blood into a more delicious frenzy?
Most everything we eat is something we first
need to change from its raw state into a form
that won't protest when we tear it into bits.
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.