“Ricorditi, ricorditi!” (Remember, remember!) ~ Dante, Purgatorio 27.22 Before morning, birdcalls ringing: widening circles around where we lie, arms still wrapped around each other in the dark. And who will break the silence first today, before it lights its thousand fires? After surrendering the condition of dream, we could give ourselves to the work that our hands and bodies do without even needing to think—last night's dishes, clothes stained with mud or musk; dust in the corners, weeds that overtake plots in the garden. Or we could give ourselves to that other condition which leads the mind into chamber after nautilus chamber of contemplative bliss: art, science, thought. Are they so different? With each there's margin for all sorts of error. Which is to say: under the first leaves, that first, drawn morning, what we call snake was only the rustle of thought blooming into desire into hands reaching for the bolder color of experience. In either case, the world before us was already changing; changed.
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.