What Is Left to Say
“Smoke presses this truth against the sky: / either your home is on fire, or you’re pulling / someone else’s tragedy into your lungs” writes Cheryl Dumesnil in her moving collection What Is Left to Say. This is the work of a poet burdened by the world who holds all the fractured pieces to the light and asks us to bear witness. Whether Dumesnil is chronicling the tragedy of the California fires or immigrant children “sleeping . . . on concrete slabs . . . unable // to touch each other,” her poems are a balm for the broken, her words are proof that language itself—in the right hands—can be a generous act of compassion.
— Aaron Smith, author of Stop Lying and The Book of Daniel