Bodies started falling like sickened apples first in Wuhan and then in most countries of the world except for a few, like Vanuatu or the Marshall Islands where you might still find flame angel fish because all the tourists left and won't be back for a long time. Many of us kept a diary, observing our loneliness and the loneliness of our neighbors; which of them had milk and eggs delivered and which had pizza or Chinese takeout. No one wanted bodies bagged then taken away for cremation, the confusion of paperwork left behind by the newly dead who didn't see their deaths coming. It's an industry all to itself, this thing called dying. Some profit more than others. Meanwhile, scientists keep working in their labs, testing for new ways to kill any germ at its root. Others say they've found a serum that brings to life the heart and liver or kidney and brain of disembodied pigs. Not so long ago we used to have parties for which a whole roast pig was ordered. It presided over the buffet table: caramel colored crackling skin, Red Delicious stuck in the open mouth of a grin. Think of it— As if living inside the shroud of death weren't enough, now we also have to consider the possibility of zombie animals.
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.