"In retrograde motion, each planet seems to slow down at times, then move in reverse, or retrograde, before resuming its course." - Encyclopedia Brittanica In grocery stores, now there are stick-on decals on the floor that show customers where they must stand in relation to others. Walking in the neighborhood, we try to skirt around other people taking advantage of the spring sunlight, the sight of trees recovering leaves and buds, the river no longer wearing drab winter threads. In Ptolemy's model, where the earth stands still at the center of the universe, all heavenly bodies should trace a perfect circle around the earth. But they also wobble, slowing down as they move farther away and speeding up as they come closer again. Secluded now for weeks in our homes, not going to work or school or church, not eating out or seeing any- one except whoever is sheltering in place with us, it's as if we share that same eccentricity of movement: and our bodies quicken at the sight of other bodies just out walking, trying but not always able to keep to their own path.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) 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 was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2020-22, and in 2021 received 1 of 23 Poet Laureate Fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation. 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.