Children will ask when the world is going to end or when they're going to die; or if they'll have to lie on cold linoleum in a pool of some other child's blood and pretend to be dead so they have a chance to survive. Whatever answer anyone comes up with, it won't ever be enough and the world won't lack for so-called metaphysical questions. What I mean is, trimming basil a few days ago, I nicked my finger hard with the tip of the kitchen shears. I flinched and bled but didn't faint or die; today I can see the wound closing. I know lizards leave their tails behind when in danger, and grow them back again. In a time-lapse video, you can watch a decapitated sea slug grow another heart and a whole new body from the pulsing jelly of its severed parts. The scientist who looped a nylon thread around its neck and pulled tight in opposite directions is off-camera, but you can see the moment when its goopy head pops off like a piece of polymer slime then wobbles to the side. If only the fluid particles in our human bodies could stretch and slide like that.
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.