"This is a wide book and a deep one, alive with marvelous composition and outcry. And yet, for all its zest of expression, it is real life and real feeling that is most honored...These poems, fierce and billowing, are such a gift."
Mary Oliver, judge's citation, the T.S. Eliot Prize
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The Distance Between Zero and One
In April the carnival came.
The ice in the factory lot,
the carnival rides huffing black stripes of smoke...
Pig slaughter music.
My great love stirring the blood with her hands.
Others cleaning the long blue
Intestines in snowdrifts
Filled with tiny stones.
Days the crowds emerge at three pm
In September performers come out with their stands—
The doves unfold like paper
In a street magician’s hands—
And the new money is good for bread
And the old money for salt, yeast, sugar
The old money in one pocket, the new in the other
One the table is our dictionary: a long time for Nika to say
You are tender and me back: You are tender
The bath, the white tub, Turkish coffee on a white chair
For a long while
I’ve been to fast to talk, I should take my time
With words, the words are precious
An hour for the coffee on the fire