10 We brought food and flowers to the new neighbor. She said she was so happy to have found someone who looked like her, here in these quiet streets, leaf- spattered, drenched with pink and white crinkled blooms. We laughed, comparing how our tongues slid over the name of the city, where to voice or glide the fricative, when to energize the sonorant. At the naval station, 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars; carrier strike groups, submarines making up the Atlantic Fleet. Wind moving through the trees sometimes makes a liquid sound, as though a school of unseen fish is making its way toward the bay. Everything’s a history lesson, a document leaning slightly against the stones, the furniture. Even the rice cooker in our kitchens: what brands our mothers will or will not buy because some are made in a country that went to war with them.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She 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 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.