In that awaited version, all the people
we lost return to their village with lungs
unscarred. All the doctors and nurses
and emergency personnel stand on the steps
of the capitol to receive a standing ovation.
The markets teem again with produce, but all
the wild animals have been returned to their
original homes. The children who were fed stones
in captivity have grown wings and go around
teaching others what it means to apocalypse:
which is to say, they have become the instruments
of revelation. Every bricklayer, carpenter,
food server, trash collector takes their ease.
And the petulant and inconvenienced? They sit
in long, low schoolrooms, instructed to reconcile
sums: everything they took and took for granted,
all the leaves they turned for personal gain;
all the seams they lined with ill-gotten
light. Their souls writhe at their feet,
unable to wear flesh again like protection.
The national guard patrols each row. No credits
roll; only the lion lifts its head and roars every so
often, and a firing squad idles under the willows.
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.