Graywolf. Jul. 2016. 96p. ISBN 9781555977443. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781555979409. POETRY
OrangeReviewStarDestruction radius. Collateral. Distressed person. Language can be so drained of emotional content that we're safely distanced from the reality behind it. But in these raw, unsparing poems, Rona Jaffe Award winner Sharif closes the gap, making language itself the issue as she investigates the consequences—particularly for herself and her family—of America's invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq ("My life in the American/ Dream is a DOWNGRADE"). Chillingly, Sharif often splices in phrases taken from the U.S. Department of Defense's Dictionary of Military Terms ("Ladies, bring your KILL BOX, Boys, your HUNG WEAPON. You will push WARHEAD MATING to the THRESHOLD OF ACCEPTABILITY"), and we learn how thoroughly war and the refugee's flight permeated the consciousness.
VERDICT Highly recommended.
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