According to recent reports, it's nine years before climate crises reach their tipping point. Apocalypse is on everyone's minds, everyone's lips, everyone's playlist. Grate the cheese coarse or fine, you know it comes from cows. In stores across the UK, activists take milk from shelves, kick bottles across the floor after pouring out the contents— melodrama of protest to turn meat-eaters and -producers off their predisposition as carnivores. Couldn't that have quenched the thirst of children in refugee camps, served a purpose other than such lofty waste? What are we under obligation to do, what could we even do? Today, #World- WarIII was trending (again) after missiles blew up grain facilities. You can make up stories if you want, but everyone's tired. Tired of Zooming, tired of the virtual, of arguments over what it means to use -x in Filipinx or Latinx or other gendered words for people. Vintage clothing stores have popped up everywhere— thrifting's become not only trendy but a way to cut waste, reduce emissions and water consumption. Just look up the rate of pollution caused by fast fashion. Upstate last summer, I nabbed a Marimekko dress for $2 and was as happy as a legit fashionista might be... I'm not digressing. All this is just to say I've been wavering on a more daily basis between heartache and fear of the inevitable: looming mortality, fuse boxes shorting in the night while we sleep, the will I drafted ten years ago, mostly listing my emotional assets— but then, suddenly, I want a fedora and a faux fur jacket.
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.