Albumen, protein, salt, and that bright yolky stuff to scoop with a spoon. Sugary tea, burnt coffee. What you'd gulp down before running to catch a bus or cab. Cellular life now. Our limited inter- actions, the loneliness of stacked toilet paper. Describe the last time you stood in a public place: a bar, a plaza, a night market. Ecclesiastes speaks of a time to rend, a time to sew. Every needle flashing now: frantic, all the lolas and aunties unable to keep up with so much mending; gardens of eggplant, tomato and winged bean that their fingers are better suited to tending. Houses that were all open doors, stews bubbling in pots, everyone coming and going. Inside is empire and exile, pyramid littered with ordinary treasure. For sport, jugglery and joysticks though you can't keep more than two balls in the air. Mornings knock on your eyelids later and later; then the quick drop back into night. Long, short— what is a day's measure? We're nearly at year's end, or its beginning. Memory is everyone's middle name now; and virtual our destinations. Your restless nature, the instrument you tune and play constantly without getting the melody right. Objects of your affection can turn more peevish than you think. Distractions in postal deliveries, granting they arrive on time: books, sheet music, workout equipment, quilting supplies. You've ripped out your knitting four times now, miscounting rows while watching British detective series reruns. Quieter in the neighborhood, no singing at 2 am in rowdy frat houses. Tell me what you miss most and I'll tell you who you are. Long dresses are never unfashionable, and weddings never unnecessary: it's not the first time people get hitched by distance. The real villain is what threatens to bloom into a lethal fever. Not love, not lust withering to nothingness; only the flesh, the lungs, the heart, the bones. Xerograph dusted with resinous powder, fixing the image through heat on a surface. You close your eyes and shapes flicker beneath your lids: even in all of this, you're zealous about remembering as much as you can about the world we used to think we had.
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.