There are things you never forget that reside somewhere inside your bones: the span of a chord, the way water tastes when it first shoots out of the mouth of a rusted iron pump. Razor-bite of acid applied to a wart, the near-human scream of a goat awaiting its death under guava trees. And everyone comes from imagined origins: land of dark sugar hills, land of multiplying gravestones. You can clean windowpanes with balled-up newsprint and their shine will be like cathedral glass dipped in milk. This is your history, and you bind it in ink and crosses. You were born in its shed but left for an unholy land. Whatever you erect in its image becomes an orchard where you will spend the rest of your days like a bride who can't return until every fruit is charred or picked clean. Who has decided to live in the present. That is, between the crescent's horns.
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.