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There are so many reasons you might pick up a book in the first place. Perhaps you have a fondness for a certain publishing house, a history of reading—and loving—books from that particular press. Sometimes you fall for the cover. You might not want to admit how much a cover matters—image and color and font—not to mention the feel of the book in your hand.

The words actually taste like the fruits they are! One man in the background faces forward, but his visage is blurry, as is his body. The other man sits in a chair, his eyes closed, his face visible only in profile. The uncanny thing about this book is the way every word seems prefigured by the cover, the title, the length and width of the volume itself longer and wider than usualas well as its glossy softness.

This is also a mirror perhaps for the way Scenters-Zapico prints her own words onto the reader, slipping, pointedly and without apology, under our skins. Machos hunt to watch women in orgasm. Not because they like to see women in pleasure, but because they like to watch women close to death. Argyria is a skin condition.

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Will argyria turn you toxic? Slide yourself. See how visceral? Before I opened this book, I felt I was already inside it. Anger is the emotion of men. Instead, emulate the glass tears on virgins who look up to the men who bruised their bodies. I got a stove this big a refri this full, a mirror just to see my pretty face. I am a citizen de los united estates.

Then, I thought for a moment it was a pantoum, the tension spreading like wings of repetition and accretion. But this is neither a ghazal nor a pantoum: it is a deftly rendered free-verse poem in which recursive lines form bars like a cage, the woman-speaker standing behind them dusting, adding polish till they gleam as she stands inside the prison of her marriage. I fry chicharrones. Hiss-hiss, across my bare skin.

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Bang-bang. I give him all of me served on a platter from back home.

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For her, the non-citizen, there is no recourse, no safety net. For her, the female non-citizen, vulnerability is doubled, compounded. I learned to read by sounding out the names in obituaries of those who Beautiful want real sex Limon died. There were so many people I could never finish. The section before leaving for school. Six women are murdered a day. Obituaries: proof you can only die once. Six more. How the women become women right before our eyes, right inside our ears, and as they come into being, we know the rate at which they will be lost?

This poem documents embodiment and erasure at the same time. It makes a picture the reader cannot unsee, leaves a feeling the reader cannot un-feel. The chorus of speakers in this book require many shapes to sing their stories of heartbreak and perseverance. There are prose poems and lineated poems, poems arranged in columns and poems that move like waves, ed-sequence poems and segmented poems comprised of words and symbols. There are so many reasons you might pick up a book in the first place, and so many reasons you might keep reading until the end.

I am trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful. Our first landlord said with a bucket of bleach the mold would come right off.

He shook mis hijas, said they had good bones for hard work. I tried to make this place beautiful. Perhaps we, many of us, believed we could make it beautiful or that it somehow already was.

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She labors under fewer illusions. There is no realtor to show this woman a house, literally or metaphorically; there is only a landlord to pass off his failure to maintain his property onto this woman, who fears deportation, and her daughters—a bad landlord, like a bad president, who expects his tenants to be grateful. Inmy parents drove me down from Seattle to visit two schools in our neighboring city of Tacoma.

I liked both schools, but I chose PLU because the tour guide mentioned their thriving creative writing program. Just imagine if Natalie Scenters-Zapico had taught there then—if she were older and I were younger—if I could have taken one of her poetry workshops! And this: Machos hunt to watch women in orgasm. That is: while journalism frames this poem, poetry makes the picture. There were so many people I could never finish The section before leaving for school. Six more women will die today, six more women will die tomorrow. Smith: I am trying to sell them the world.

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The Poetry of Perseverance: An Interview With Ada Limón