Is it possible to have ever been in a place completely free of pain? Was such a place beautiful, or was it unremarkable for the absence of any attachment to the things you might have meant when you said I wish or I want, or I cannot, I can? What did you lose in those years when all you wanted was to empty each room of objects that seemed to crowd the tight, airless room inside your chest; or did they come back, multiplied in number, edging each other for space on the furniture? Outside, evening arrives faster than it can fall. Trees drop the last of their leaflets, knowing this time of year is past announcement. You couldn't stop walking into it even if you tried: even if you held still, you'd feel the landscape bristle with either hurt or love, a kind of static electricity. At last, you might say, or Oh; as one by one, lights flood the insides of their bowls.
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.