How long until the body decodes its recurring hungers? Tubers sweetend in coconut cream, tapioca pearls glistening. A tongue that will not stop swimming in underground rivers. Cooled or fevered, cobbled with scars: the largest territory of skin. But nothing so distant that can't sense time approaching. These days, the dark falls faster than you can arrange it on a shelf. How much room will it take up? Think of it as a sleeve, a pocket, an envelope. Sometimes the things you find surprise you: lint in the shape of an ear; a leaf that crumbles as soon as its outline is traced. The scent of a breath you think you inhaled so many years ago. In the vegetable bin, the pleasing, cold shapes of apples next to spears of celery and wilting greens. Soon you will have to wind the clocks back again. Though it lies in bed in its pink pajamas, time laughs at the lie. You hear it as a small tinkle like bells.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) 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 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.