Even if you haven't got a green thumb, you can re-grow new plants from vegetable scraps simply by slicing the bottoms of celery stalks, bok choy and other greens, then sticking them upright in a shallow dish of water. For carrots and radishes and beets, it's the tops you lop off. Science says regeneration is natural. Cells have the ability to program a new stem, crown, clove— From the wilted lettuce, a young, vibrant leaf; a fresh new body you can harvest for next week's salad. Eventually, there must be a limit. You can't keep raising the dead forever; it would be too unnatural, improper. So I'm shocked to learn about the baseball player who apparently left instructions that upon his death, surgeons were to neuroseparate his head from his body. His head floats in a kind of dirty-looking thermos filled with liquid nitrogen, waiting for a future where our science would have advanced to such an edge that someone would know what to do to resuscitate the neurosuspended brain. Then it would sprout a whole new body, taut and strong and ready to swing a bat, sprint to base, sign a billion trading cards in a world we're not even sure will have the same greed we seem to have for stretching out life beyond life.
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.