The first time was when I confessed to doing something I guess I shouldn't have done: drawing 2 clumsy shapes with a blue BIC ball pen on a lampshade. I was trying to imitate the repeating print of Mondrian-like squares, thinking they would blend in so nicely. Another time was when I stomped my feet, refusing to play the piano for her friends who'd come to visit over tea. I know there were many more times but none as startling as the first when she hissed, Do you want me to return you to where you came from? I was only in second grade but knew vaguely how babies were born. I stared at the space where a tiny belt cinched pleats around the tiny waist she was so proud of. I couldn't understand what that kind of return might mean; or if I'd shrink bit by bit until there would be nothing.
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.