There it is, sketched in red- ochre, head lifted and watching. Broad strokes of its rounded back and short legs, found on a karst wall in Leang Tedongnge. Now it's the oldest-known animal cave painting. But why, as I read about it, does my brain think party pig? Perhaps it reminds me of Andy Warhol's Fiesta Pig: ballet-slipper-pink, nosing around in the excess of some post-bacchanalian frenzy. Migration in packs, in the wild, through curtains of berries and matted roots. They're mostly feral, but sometimes give in. When caught and semi-domesticated, penned next to banana groves. As far north as Mindanao and Palawan, they've been found to interbreed with the common pig. Six facial warts and a bristly snout; short ivory tusks. Singed and bled, the white understory of fat renders itself before you plunge a bare arm in, then lift out garlanded organs dearest to the gods. Otherwise, why make a record? Why commemmorate what isn't an offering? No one goes home without a portion.
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.