O such profound longings in the mouth— for broiled tomatoes and cheese, soft grilled eggplant, the salty pop of little sea-grapes. All you can eat sushi or kimbap. So much pumpernickel and rye, crocks of butter, wedges of cheese. How many geese gave the feathers from their breasts to lie in smoky pan drippings? At the smorgasbord, a fly large as a pendant recreates a Dutch still life: gleaming crystal goblet, decanter of sweet wine, massed hydrangeas shrinking in oversized vases. Vanitas, declares a trio of musk-scented candles. Amuse-bouche of milkfish belly and lemongrass. Everything that kissed the knife, reduced to slick garments of themselves: steamed chicken feet, ribboned and quivering jellyfish. We can't help it, can't stop; want to swallow the whole world if we could. We use polished silver. Or even just our hands.
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.