These help explain why hydrangea is the same as milflores, their many blooms exploding like a million radiants. Why looking up the root of similar makes you remember how, sitting across the aisle of a jeepney, you noticed a girl your age wearing the same T-shirt with the faces of Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal stenciled above "Love Story." You must have been eleven when your parents took you to see the movie. Afterwards, everyone in the bathroom was still crying. The first time you heard the word leukemia, you didn't understand how certain diseases lurk mysteriously in the blood. Abnormal accumulation of leucocytes: clear, colorless cells, from the proto-Indo-European root leuk- meaning light or brightness. On the screen, the lovers walk through a wintry park. As they go, she is on the verge of falling. Everything is endlessly, frozenly white. Flakes spill like marrow from a spongy hole in the sky.
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.