Here we are, years after trying to give shape to our desires— Here we are in the middle of the room, and that woman on the internet is singing in praise of the uncluttered, hugging needle- point pillows to her bosom before throwing them away. Unloved or unlovely, she says you can hire one of her certified consultants to help tidy your home for a fee. But it's the journalist on the late night show I can't stop thinking about— how she held up both arms as if locked arm-in-arm with another, how she talked of what it means to hold the line, not give in to darkness after darkness dropping around us like bombs every day. How we should be careful not to surrender our birthright to that dream republic where we won't be sad there will be more books than we could ever finish reading and where, looking up, we might grab a poem/ fluttering from the sky,/ blinded by weeping.
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.