As the subtitle suggests, the strength of this collection lies in how Bioku has unified individual poems into a cohesive story suggesting the poet’s life. While the voice is detached and observational, often making each line a declarative ending in a full stop (“Vanished arrows burn your rind and frame.”) the words themselves offer a raw, sometimes abstracted depiction of encounters with trauma, aggression, body image struggles, and the pains of being a victim of bullying. These verses grapple with the internal battle faced by countless women, torn between lost youth and the burdens of maturity. Spirituality is a recurrent theme—and source of relief—as Bioku constantly seeks deliverance when “Jagged addictions fought zealously for control.” Bioku writes, “I’m weary standing at Your door,” reaching out for faith to be an anchor.
While the absence of a consistent rhythm in her one-sentence lines can create a sense of disconnection over the course of stanza, the messages—searching, searing—flow. Bioku's phrasing can be ambiguous, yet at its core, this is a love letter, one that chronicles the journey of being lost and dissatisfied in life, finding love in oneself and others, and holding out hope for the future: "But for now, let’s walk through life hand in hand, taking it one stride at a time."
Takeaway: Soul-baring poetry collection of a voyage towards spiritual awakening
Comparable Titles: Dian Tinio's Catastrophes, Lang Leav's Love & Misadventure.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A