When I look at myself in the mirror one day to find puckers and dimples and grooves, I remember my first glimpse of my mother's body as a woman's body: lean and damp from the bath, the curve of her nape like a violin scroll, the towel slipping off her torso as she bent to pick up a pink powder puff. She'd ease into her brassiere, slide the nylons up her thighs and click the straps of the girdle in place. How much work it seemed to keep up this surface of pulchritude: outline lips in the shape of a perfect bow, the brow's twin arches and the eyes with a feathering of kohl. Perhaps I have let myself go. Perhaps I've guzzled too much of salt and sweet, craved the buttery comfort of fat, finding there's pleasure too in the lick and slick of dapple. Even now, she has cheekbones that others say are to die for. Late bloomer, I touch a stick of color to my lips, purse them into the tapered shapes of boat or leaf. Every now and then someone will say they can see a resemblance.
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.