We need such books.

Camel, ass, lion, pig, donkey, horse, ox, fawn, duckling, osprey, sea snail, snake; infirmary, school, factory farm; bar, travel, underwear, childbirth, solar observatory, sex acts, and “the morning corpse of water”: maybe you can tell from this list of images in this book what Jared Shickling’s concerns are. “Nature’s impatience / homage de / con struck / shun / remains” enacts the breakdown of a world that we are destroying, so at times her syntax and spelling are altered, even to the point of using single letters. “Until I touch you and am unclean myself’’ suggests the ways we separate ourselves, male from female, human animal from other animals. “He has a blemish // he will profane not my sanctuaries.” Religion and archaisms continue to influence us in unpardonable ways. Critiques of factory farms run through the book, the most upsetting of which is a poem in which a worker confesses the horrors of tortures inflicted upon pigs. This is poetry infused with morality; its structure and its subjects are inseparable, because Shickling clearly feels the waste and misuse of the world so deeply. “Emotions mixed like primary colors.” We need such books.

—Ruth Lepson