Besides the one we occupy, how many other worlds exist? Not a new conundrum: these puzzle pieces floating around since antiquity, well before medieval times. You could say even the Buddhists think of this world as only one among many others. This is why, processed out of the nth recycling, we're not necessarily coming back the same. If you put a computer into the hands of stoics and atomists, would they still arrive at warring conclusions about the nature of the physical world? Here, the streets are lined with larch trees and crepe myrtle, dogwood, sweet gum, magnolia. In another city, pines drop their needles; willow tips brush the surface of a lake. The eternal question: whether we're thrown from one accident to the next, or can relish the knowledge of action coming from real choice— I don't mean fries or no fries, regular or gluten free, first class or economy. What I mean is, do we want to believe in the existence of another universe where the chances our actions might prevent the world from ending are about equal to those resulting from our inaction? Wherever that is, I'm guessing it probably looks like a sim of the world we're in— Except that in the one I want, I'd sit on the beach half-in and half- out of water, just feeling the ebb and flow. I'd eat fruit popsicles and mounds of rice without gaining an inch. I'd change the color of the front door from last year's teal to grand canyon red and read about how all immigrant children have been reunited with their families and how no one uses fossil fuels or assault weapons anymore. I'd go to bed at night for mad love, even knowing as we all do there's still no guarantee any of us will wake up again in the morning;
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) 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 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.