by Rushi Vyas
Four Way Books, 2023
Paper: 978-1-954245-54-9 | eISBN: 978-1-954245-55-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3622.Y37
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6


In this electrifying debut, lyric works to untangle slippery personal and political histories in the wake of a parent’s suicide. “When my father finally / died,” Vyas writes, “we [...] burned, / like an effigy, the voiceless body.” Grief returns us to elemental silence, where “the wind is a muted vowel in the brush of pine / branches” across American landscapes. These poems extend formal experimentation, caesurae, and enjambment to reach into the emptiness and fractures that remain. This language listens as much as it sings, asking: can we recover from the muting effects of British colonialism, American imperialism, patriarchy, and caste hierarchies? Which cultural legacies do we release in order to heal? Which do we keep alive, and which keep us alive? A monument to yesterday and a missive to tomorrow, When I Reach for Your Pulse reminds us of both the burden and the promise of inheritance. “[T]he wail outlasts / the dream,” but time falls like water and so “the stream survives its source.”

See other books on: Asian American & Pacific Islander | Death, Grief, Loss | Poetry | Subjects & Themes | When
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