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    Absolutely essential reading

    I don't even know where to start talking about this book. It reached right into my chest and wrung out my heart. I cried reading it. I tried to read it one poem at a time but couldn't stop and so read it straight through. Here's a few lines from Smith's poem "seroconversion" that can tell you better than I can why you should read this: one day, the boy with a difficult name laid with a boy who shall remain nameless in the sun & they rolled around waiting for something to burn. the next day, the boy with the difficult name woke up in a blue sweat, walked the rim of the lake & though nothing burned, something was growing from ashes, for mosquitos flew away from his skin, ticks latched onto his ankle & turned to smoke, weeds & willows bowed green spines to him & he swore he heard the dirt singing his name saying it right

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