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You Always Wished the Animals would Leave by Maya Catherine Popa

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This is a work of seething precision. In these poems, hope is a meticulous, meditative state—a method of forensic searching and study that is carried with great care across generations. By stitching her raging images together with stillness and poise, Popa asks us to step back from our panic and look: "peeling back the hair, that quiet, necessary artifice, / to reveal a nesting doll of impulses." —Caroline Bird

In Maya Catherine Popa's You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave, feathers are unfulfilled parables, a hen's eggs turn a vicious red, and a super moon "blooms a tyranny of flowers." A helix of histories lies threaded to both the present day and the various magics of night. These poems are smart and lush, and at the end of each of them my heart, mind, and ear argue over which was lavished with the most pleasure. I am enchanted by this book, in its thrall, its bright gravity, its terribilitá. —Traci Brimhall