Can you imagine others who'll come after you (if it were possible, meaning, if the world you know wouldn't have ended yet), sorting through photos on thumb drives or in the Cloud, piecing together parts of stories they heard second- or third-hand? Perhaps the one you took outside your first apartment, standing in front of your first car (a blue compact sedan) with the key in one hand and the loan agreement in the other, wondering if you should've smiled when the agent at the dealership boomed Congratulations! doesn't this make you feel more American now? and wondering if you should have told him your naturalization ceremony was two months down the road? Perhaps, that first Christmas when you and your husband went back and forth about going out for a real tree, and then when you finally decided, it was too late and there was no more to be had from any of the lots nearby? Will they notice that in some of the pictures taken in more recent summers, your hair has gotten visibly thinner at the top? The panoramic view makes the living room wider and the kitchen somehow more cozy. There's the hand-me-down piano that took five people to carry across the threshold. There's the counter perennially piled with books out of place next to a bowl of fruit, where on holidays or celebrations you'd lay out a food offering for the ancestors.
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.