Night, dense indigo in the shape of whirlpools— kusikos— or a kaleidoscope of flowers— sinan-sabong— Dream blanket to confuse and distract malevolent spirits hovering overhead— We all want to walk in protection: harbor and hill, fields tasseled with grain— How do you single out the tune meant for your ears only, filament spooled in a heaven of foremothers? For years, you squinted at the light that came through a faraway window, pretending to catch its milky drops in your palm— There you are in the garden, amazed at how the time moved so quickly, a stone that finally learned to lightly graze each watery crest instead of sinking with the weight of its own resistance— The crepe myrtle trees shed their tattered tissue but you don't know if they're entering or leaving their grief. You yourself pull at threads: weft and weave, your soul still anxious about stitches and holes— A thimbleful of seed, a mouthful of feathers, a box filled with all the words you remember—
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.