Winner of the 72nd Yale Younger Award, this is a lyrical collection bursting with eroticism. In it Broumas recasts figures of Greek myth (Artemis, Demeter, Calypso, Circe, others) and rewrites modern fairy tales (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel) in a distinctly female context. It is not an old hag who keeps Rapunzel locked away in a tower, but an older lover:
through my hair, climb in
to me, love
hovers here like a mother's wish.
You might have been, though you're not
my mother. You let loose like hair, like static
her stilled wish, relentless
in me and constant as
You can see that Broumas is not coy about her intentions. The whole book, pivoting around themes of immersion and rebirth, longing and fulfillment, is filled with explicit, Sapphic sexuality. This makes the book a political statement, but read carefully, it's much more than that. It's a book of lyric outburst, vigilantly attended to by Broumas's command of syntax, dense imagery, and musical phrase.