Kirsten Shu-ying Chen's searing debut collection offers a poignant exploration of the liminal space between what is holy and what is prosaic. Formalistically rich and varied, these poems do not blink in the face of grief, but shelter there. Chen "curse[s] the wide width of the wound" and creates a world in which her poems link arms to enter the blistering present. A demonstration of the daily rituals of love, these elegies swell with humanity as death draws near. "The body knows. / The night knows and the body listens." Light waves simultaneously reminds us of what we already know and what we too often forget: there just isn't enough time, and yet, an abundance of joy is everywhere, for each of us.
—Omotara James, Song of My Softening