Duane Esposito’s new book of poems Declaration for Your Bones is a slim, elegant volume easily read in one sitting, but you probably should be sitting. The best poems in the volume meet the high bar that Emily Dickinson set for poetry: they knock the top of your head off. The volume begins:
We’re a skull that cannot close
Around a brain of light—
The poems delve into the sedimented grief that one carries and brings into relationships with a spouse and then with children, and how that pain affects perspectives on the world and on politics. It often seems to make the contours of the world sharper and the desire for peace and justice more keen. It also makes it possible to utter difficult truths about our inability to attain such ideals.