You can put a city on a mountain if you build a road to get there. This is called infrastructure. American colonizers did exactly that. That's how they say my city was born, though it was there long before anyone whipped out a compass or scale ruler. I'm not just writing again of my nostalgia. How beautiful it is when fog descends upon new architecture. The moon, glimpsed through splayed fingers of pine, is also beautiful. Tinted sepia, it could be a scene from an old movie. What disappeared is not a metaphor for anything. What disappeared is gone. Cacao growers worry about their withered farms. I've been reading about extractive geologies and global expansion. Thieves take copper from electrical substations and construction lots. My neighbor complained that their copper rain chain was stolen. People wonder how much gold and silver is left in the world. The brightest thing in my house right now is an orange in the fruit bowl. I don't need to sink my teeth into it to tell that it's real. At some point, we will eat it.
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.