(after Bhanu Kapil) I haven't stopped trying to love the one who feels that now they cannot love me back A long night is made of dozens of years, all the earth's clocks tolling Every day I pour water into a glass, take a fork out of a drawer, comb through a forest of thought When there was nothing preordained it was possible to hope Sometimes I look at a milk carton and think of limbs stuffed under a bed I hated children's taunts, perhaps the worst one about being picked out of a dustbin How can one believe not all mothers are the patron saints of suffering My body, like a roll of dough folded over and over, wanting to rise and be sweet There is a roof of stars, a citadel of roses trying to soften their sting I was used to small vials with stoppers, but I've learned where the torrents live in my voice No black, no grey, no white, only jasmine and saffron; I try to gather a usefulness of facts, but only manage to amass pigments in small boxes, a book for every possible train ride They'll say everything has happened before, as if we are merely repeatable; as if there are no hidden marks on our bodies
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.