Blood cells are born in the marrow. They flood the columns of the pelvis, the ladders of the spine, the bones armoring the breast and its collection of soft organs. Somewhere in the factory, a lever or switch flips the numbers, electrifies the circuitry, multiplies. One day you're born or wake with too many lunettes; unchecked, they'd proliferate so skin bruises easy, as if a crimson dew formed beneath its outer walls. I don't know how to keep you from this delirium that seethes within, mostly unseen. In early morning light, I scan your body for tell- tale marks, watch as breath curls around the curve of your throat: in the shape of a stone fruit, in the guise of a hive clotted thick with syrup. Aspirate, from aspiratio: an exhalation. How a mouth forms the sound of audible breath, the low hum of a quiet engine.
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.