At many grocery stores, the checkout girls now sit behind a shield of clear acrylic. In Aisle 13B, there is non-brand toilet paper, but you are limited to one 10-roll pack only. Every few rows there's a stand with a large bottle of hand sanitizer, but it's heartbreaking to see they still keep lobsters in tanks, their large crusher claws bound close to their heads with broad rubber bands, their walking legs weakly paddling water. Who of us will be spared, will pare away the extra letters to get to the spar, which the dictionary describes as the main longitudinal beam of an airplane wing? Sticks of celery are green as grasshopper bodies. Every now and then a person jumps when someone is about to come too close. In their baskets, loaves of bread are breathing.
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.