To become separate, divided into parts: the way children, bored after dressing and undressing their dolls, will snap off a leg or an arm or the head. Foretaste of power in the split- second, as something gives or gives way. How when you choose instead of are chosen for, you don't have to settle. Tell, if you like, the story of how the god left you waiting at the altar; of your monstrous anger and the blue-black wings it tailored for purging the countryside at night. On the ground, you leave the nether regions of that body ransacked and marked with every conquest. Where it severs from the cage of your heart, the wound is brilliant as pomegranate; its innards go on for miles. Long before that other seed grew into a child, you knew the stories they would weave: stingray whips, deadly poultices of salt; you and your hideous hauntings. How ordinary you look in sunlight. No one can imagine how wide the territories of ice in your sight, how you sustain those arguments with yourself through the year: cleave or forget? Soften or stay, but refuse to disappear.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) is the 2023 Immigrant Writing Series prize winner for Caulbearer: Poems (due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2024), and 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.
One Reply to “Portrait of Demeter as Manananggal”