Book epigraph by Gerard De Nerval: "Look around you, everything quivers with being."

Sharon Carter’s poems reveal an astonishing sensibility, a voice that probes the intimate life of the body — personal, cultural, history itself — with the exactness of a scalpel. The heart stutters on, she tells us, and she would know. As a physician, she became attuned to the crack and groan of the human body: illness and death rising like birdsong from the throat; women in labor; fissures on an iced-over lake like the blight of a mammogram. Her meditations are nuanced, droll, clear sighted; alert to the marvels of the earth and its ruin; layered with bravado, bees, and longing. Women do this, she affirms: deliver babies, make poems, resurrect the dead. I find myself standing back with admiration. “May light from the farthest galaxy/arrive before too long,” she writes. Amen. —KATHRYN HUNT, author of a "Long Way Through Ruin" and "Seed Wheel"

Sharon Carter’s poems honor the fragility of our flesh, our bones and our psyches. Whether about treating a young boy’s infected finger (“A red line reaches for his armpit/For his life”) or considering blame (On winter nights when coyotes sob/ among the pines/and the moon never rises”), about a loss in pregnancy (“How to be grateful for what is/than struggle over what never was”), or footsteps (“our footsteps clatter in couplets”), they are masterfully astute and, above all, honest. Sharon Carter’s collection displays the feat of a fine poet who meets one’s life on its own terms and reaches in to evoke the universal human experience. —SHEILA BENDER, author of "A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief"