Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows is the winner of the 2015 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry.
Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows
“Everyone warns us off the rocks. / But what will keep us from the river?” Leigh asks in her debut collection, which pieces together a kind of mythology in which the surreal and celestial coexist with the realities of childhood abuse as an adult speaker grapples with its lasting emotional trauma. Rooted in a place of deep faith and bottomless compassion, Leigh’s speaker struggles to remember, and to remind us all, “that to worship is to survive is to be / wholly human.”
“Sex Education,”from Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows:
Folded into the carpet, eyes closed, I huddle next to my small sisters--the baby curled in the middle. My parents shuffle in the couch bed beside us, and I wake. I peek. I absorb the wet sounds of one mouth guzzling another's laughter--and without health class pamphlets, without Eve's Adam and the fruit still rich on his chin, I learnthe music of bodies smacking together. I learn the word yes. And how yes-- when whispered over and over--seems to free other meanings--secret meanings I never heard them speak in daylight.