O Bon

Brandon Shimoda's third collection of poetry reflects on the poet's family history, specifically, the life of his grandfather, who was imprisoned in a U.S. internment camp during World War II. These often spare, gorgeously crafted poems are constructed and persist within and out of chilling landscapes—the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, the underworld. Etal Adnan writes, "[Shimoda's] world is a hushed world—his book, a silent prayer, not to a god, but to life, the life of survivors—that one can whisper, can join the dead—that whisper turns into a ritualistic text, a celebration of witnessing." From "In the Middle of Migration"

        sugar mammal, slit throat
	tethered to the thickest spar
	between home and adopted home

	makes no difference in times like these
	without bothering to unfold the map
	or take it from its sleeve

	climb the rungs of bone and limb
	to pierce what version of skin or sky
	the solvent leaks

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.