Inside a box I will lay my latest sorrows against all the older ones—I will sew them on like buttons that match the look of a frayed shirt, or add them to the stash of coins in the dashboard, ready tithe for a parking meter. I am heartsick again, heartsick for things I could not save, for the umbrella's broken rib that I did not mend; for the child who by not speaking to me is unchoosing me. Before my body was a country that housed lives then pushed them out into their exile, it too was its own monument to solitude. Inside a box I have enough sorrows to ransom other sorrows, enough to barter for some small trinket in the market of happiness. I am not looking for gold links to the eternal, nor for the exit out of a dream. But I have brought nearly everything I have to the center of the labyrinth, where perhaps one last sad, terrible mouth waits either to swallow me whole or spit me out
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.