"Inwardly I am hard and cold, there is no glow or fire in me, but if I am struck by fate, the sparks fly everywhere." ~ M.C. Escher, "Flint," from XXIV Emblemata, 1931 When it rains the world is inked and grainy as a woodcut. I'm trying to figure out where ghosts come from and what they might be trying to remember, now that they're from a different world curved at the center, flaring outward then inward like a looping dream. So long ago, a woman, a friend of my mother's, took her life at our kitchen table. I don't know what they might have been to each other. Only the smallest thread of story remains, though I try to imagine the coffee cup, what it held of poison; what kind of night it might have been when it wasn't enough to strike one stone against another, use up match after match. I consider the porousness of borders— a fringed shawl of cold you can wear in the middle of a heated room; an inside-out glove where a love note was written. On a table, an orb inside another orb reflecting objects in the street but tilted sideways, as if each were taking its leave.
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.