Throw a whole stick of butter into any sauce; it will taste just like the dishes in a rich woman's house. If even a single hair falls from your head into the stew, empty the whole pot in the trash and start over. In some citiies (some), it's a compliment when men pinch the bottoms of women walking in the street. Kissing? The sensation's just like when you eat freshwater snails cooked in tamarind pulp. A little bile in the soup makes you strong. If you're able to take singing lessons, learn a repertoire of sad melodies in a modest mezzo-soprano key, ending with words like farewell or last song. Finish your studies. Sex and marriage later. When you have a big fight with your husband, threaten to leave; then order everyone else not to reveal your hiding place in the laundry room closet. You can make up names for things you've forgotten the correct term for, or don't know. For instance, proclaim the pale connective tissue between your bones and in your ears and nose is culidon. When ghosts come back to haunt you, especially in-law ghosts, remind them they're dead; burn all their clothes and throw away the chamberpot. A kettle of boiling water is as good a weapon as words, or even better.
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.