We are such a people of inexhaustible silences. We can mistake the absence of speech for tenderness because we have to give someone the benefit of the doubt. What is second nature but to put pieces of any wreckage into brown envelopes, file them away with others in a drawer, then blink afterward at the brilliance of sunset over the water? After the storm passes, the colors are even more vibrant and unreal. They don't want to be contained. Some stones are just stones; others are fawn or speckled green, banded yellow, gashed with tourmaline. Some are crystals that tremor to the frequency of every beggared expectation. For instance, I wanted one roof over all our heads; I wanted to not turn into my histories of being forgotten or left behind. We don't speak of love or its other aliases. This is real, though— this space vibrating with the knowledge that it could be filled.
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.