A warehouse mountain of empty plastic bottles on which a woman sits, tearing off labels and counting: three liters of water are needed to make just one of these. A line of children waiting at the town's one rusted water pump, plastic pails nearly half their height in each hand. They'll walk however many dusty miles it takes to get home, vowing not to spill one drop. Gulls trawl the air above the sea, rewarding no one with their industry; they're told that's why their wings are dun. The year I was born, scientists at CalTech suggested there could be ice in the moon's polar craters. Fifty- nine years later, NASA confirms there's water on the sunlit surface of the moon. Warming days pass; what used to be slow is now swift. A diver wanted to carve a chunk from an iceberg in Antarctica and tow it by ship to Cape Town. When it rains on the first day of the year, we tell each other: may blessings fall upon you like this. After all, the brain and heart are 73% water; the wing-shaped lungs, 83%. The skin is 64% water; even that system of ivory-colored marimba keys making up your bony skeleton craves water.
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.