Our Lady of the pleated blue masks with two loops thinner than hair ties. Our Lady of the wire- threaded middle edge of K95s recommended for travel— Our Lady of the long-handled cotton swab, the rapid test and antibody test. Our Lady of online grocery shoppers and food delivery drivers who set your poke bowl and boba on the wobbly front step— In the world, some governments lift restrictions and cruise ships are impatient for summer. Our Lady of panic and illusions, chronic tiredness, brain fog, insomnia, and cardiac infarctions. Our Lady of lumpy chair cushions, portable ring lights, and unstable internet connections— We are as fish caught in a cloudy aquarium waiting for algae scrapers, water siphons, lime and bleach cleaners— Our Lady of the virtual lament, electronic embrace, mediated job interview, meeting, or funeral— In some part of the world pink blossoms have opened to spring and in another, a pink wave of protesters fills actual streets. Our Lady of ICUs and statistics. Our Lady of terrible risks. Our Lady of wars and climate injustice in the throb of an ongoing epidemic.
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.