Which is always sticky rice Which always needs generous amounts of coconut milk Sugar tempered with salt Sometimes a spoonful of lye A wrap of smoky leaf Which is the way to conjure those mixed undertones— Fog? Tears? Pensive uncertain desire? Regret Most certainly regret And that variety well known to mothers In any case Bring everything to a boil in a pot which has seen better days Stir from the core of your gut Don't let your arm fall asleep The right consistency a holding together— Each grain plumpsoft doubles Allowing this closeness in the name of sweet When something is good it might be described as having made you forget your name Forget the ache Sometimes glutinous is mistaken for gluttonous— A hunger that won't stop until something bursts It takes time to thicken anything And mere moments to burn
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.