"...Beautiful, unanswerable questions." ~ Carl Sandburg Days hiccup, alternate: you wake one day and maybe you think it's such an unexceptional day. Or maybe it feels indeterminate, like standing in the musty lobby of a nondescript motel, no longer recalling how you got there. Maybe it's like the back corridor of the Planned Parenthood clinic, walls painted chalky gray, when in your late forties, you held a test stick in your fingers and watched a second evap line turn dark pink in the window. A group of pious protesters stood in tight semicircle near the exit, singing hymns, amazing something; chanting and chanting their holier-than-thou. Did they never feel their bodies could play tricks on them—pull out from a hidden shelf a seed that thought it might flower like campion dug out of the permafrost? But before you could make your return appointment, while in the shower a glistening knob of tissue unfastened, slid out. Loosened whorl, small bud you palmed from wet tile: how the body recognized the feel of a suddenly empty room.
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.