It's a dream of course; or maybe it only feels like a dream. Maybe there are walls and corridors of apartments painted dull brown. There is a woman standing in the middle of the room in an orange dress. At her throat is a jewel that can't be named, but it winks from between two butterfly wings. There's a green cake stand on the table, surrounded by jade green vines. Where's the man who was supposed to hold her hand, closed around the handle of a knife? They should slice into layers of pale yellow crumb iced with cream. We are all waiting; we are the ones with open mouths. Doves flutter in a panic close to the ceiling, their feet finally free of satin ribbon. But I can't wait. I'm walking into a street filled with puddles, on the arm of a man who carries my one piece of luggage as if it were a basket of reeds. We cross the road to get to a station where a bus or a train is waiting to carry me away. The air is warm. On tiptoe I mouth three words into his ear. Can you imagine what they were?
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) is the 2023 Immigrant Writing Series prize winner for Caulbearer: Poems (due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2024), and 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.