This book is raw and powerful. It is not for the squeamish. Many of the poems address sex very openly, but never in a sleazy or tawdry way. HIV and one-night stands are not shied away from. But this book is amazing! The opening poem, "summer, somewhere" is magical. It gives a space in a post-living world to black boys killed in this one--the space is beautiful. Danez does in poetry what we haven't done in America. I've seen the poem reprinted a few places. It should be required reading. Buy here.
From "summer, somewhere"
. . . boys become new / moons, gum-dark on all sides, beg bruise // -blue water to fly, at least tide, at least / spit back a father or two. i won't get started. // history is what it is. it knows what it did.
do you know what it's like to live / on land who loves you back? // no need for geography / now, we safe everywhere. // point to whatever you please / & call it church, home, or sweet love, // paradise is a world where everything / is sanctuary & nothing is a gun.
From "not an elegy"
ask the rain / what it was / like to be the river / then ask the river / who it drowned.