Taking the trash outside near midnight, and a warm breeze lifts the ends of my hair. Somewhere behind cobblestones of cloud, the moon has risen. Rain from earlier in the day has dissipated, its only trace in large puddles at intersections where water fights to find an exit through asphalt. This is the kind of quiet in which one might mistake any shift in the atmosphere as a message about one's destiny— Sorrow and remonstrance at the passage of time; the piercing tenderness of small sounds in darkness conveying all manner of memories dredged up from an interior sea . Trees beginning to tip with green. A door somewhere opening to the un- fathomable. I touch a link in the chain, one narrow length of greying wood among others in the fence, waiting for the right word to nuzzle against my hand. What does one say to break the spell? The sound of an engine accelerating. Garlic and onions sizzling in a pan on the stove. The click of my heels on tile after I come back across the threshold.
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.