Winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize In a startling voice propelled by desire and desperation on the verge of laughter, these poems leap from the mundane to the sublime, from begging to bravado, from despair to reverie, revealing the power that comes from hanging on by a thread. Poet Heather June Gibbons conjures belief in the absence of faith, loneliness in the digital age, beauty in the face of absurdity—all through the cataract of her sunglasses'cracked lens. In this debut collection, we are shown a world so turbulent, anxious, and beautiful, we know it must be ours. Under pressure, these poems sing. Includes a foreword by Jericho Brown. From the poem “Bobby Reads Chekhov” They say if you're sad, you haven't been smiling enough. Want to make better decisions? Eat more cheese. Perception is reality, my horrible boss used to say when I'd try to explain anything she couldn't see, though maybe she was right. Can we know reality any other way? The painter saw purple in the trees, so he painted them purple. Leaving the gallery, we see purple everywhere. Studies have shown meditation makes brain waves akin to coma. Is that so, you say, fingering your tiny screen.