Camara’s language is accessible, which is important to the arc of her collection. She does not attempt to confuse the reader; connection is her purpose—and acknowledgment.Honoree Fanone Jeffers, from the preface
The blackest thing was us, the red was everything else.
None of it was beautiful.
He told me I was the most beautiful thing. Every time.
I said yes, every time.
It hurt every time, how I said yes to survive.
For what? For something so out of body, I began to see spirits.
Spirits who didn’t know any better said baby, this how men are.
Some said the love is hard before it’s better.
But none of them got to see better.
And I could no longer take this conditioning.
I wanted a red that was as beautiful as he said I was.
Then made him a red that made me feel like the sunset.
Besides, he tried to make a ghost of me first.