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A Dedication to Drowning by Maeve McKenna

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In this raw and moving debut chapbook, Maeve McKenna dives into the multitudes of womanhood: a mother, unmothered; a lover, alone; a child, now aged. She flings the cover off pain that would otherwise remain hidden and unspoken, exposing the most intimate parts of herself. In doing so, she invites the reader to embrace their own vulnerabilities, calling, "Let's assemble our bodies, limb to limb against/the walls of unoccupied margins, hope pointed/like the scope of a firing squad...I am writing it for you. For me."


Sample poem:


Holy Pleasure

In unison, I watch us leave as we enter the communion,

your toe-tongue mastery of crumpling a hot, ironed


sheet, my handy work undone, and I, grateful for it. This time,

you plump the pillow exactly at the right angle. My head, flailing


for years, now the stunned stillness of a shop-window mannequin.

What followed I can’t name, but do recall the dogs hackled back


for most of that night. When morning cajoled across our bare shoulders,

I was, well, relieved to find you arriving, all contrite and sweating,


unlike before, when your guilty descent concocted another ascension,

hands imitating Christ, you risen that we may never sin this low alone,


or, with the folly of faithless youth, tip our lapping lips to a waiting mouth,

its sour breath a forgiving hymn we have hummed to incessantly.



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