cover image Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment

Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment

Alessandra Lynch. Alice James, $15.95 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-938584-65-7

In her harrowing third collection, Lynch (It Was a Terrible Cloud at Twilight) exhibits a steely bravery as she teases out the workings of the ecosystem of trauma. “The way to steady what unsteadied me/ was transformation:/ gash to star, wound to window,” Lynch writes, noting how for victims of sexual assault the crime scenes are their own bodies. Such an experience remains a part of them: “It hangs and hangs and hangs—/ not bell, not noose.// A case of walking paralysis.” Lynch writes, “There is a way the body weds memory—/ a marriage like that of a planet to light.” In several poems she describes a desire to unburden a body of its imprinted experience by willing the self to become “a vanished thing” or “aftersmoke—the eke of light in the marrow.” She also records an incident of post-trauma disembodiment: “the girl it happened to crawled out// of my body/ straight into the grass that bordered the lot/ where she lay face-up, a cloth/ doll.” As Lynch guides readers through these painful episodes, she retakes ownership of her body, sense of intimacy, and ability to bear witness: “It was not until the body/ floated off, incandescent, weak with want,/ that I thought to move towards it.” (June)