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Golden Hour Books

Your Dazzling Death: Poems by Cass Donish (9/3/24)

Your Dazzling Death: Poems by Cass Donish (9/3/24)

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Written in the devastating aftermath of a partner’s suicide, this unprecedented collection is a restorative memorial act, an exploration of queer time, and a powerful expression of nonbinary and trans love in the wake of traumatic loss.

“suddenly a brilliant red-tailed star / flew across the sky, a sun reversing time, / I crossed one world to another / I stood with her in the other world”

In Your Dazzling Death, Cass Donish courageously summons the poems to witness their own state of “obliteration,” widowed by suicide and isolated as a global pandemic is unfolding. Elegizing their partner, the poet Kelly Caldwell, they insist that the intimate, ongoing conversation with a beloved mysteriously continues after loss.

With searing vulnerability and profound perceptiveness, Donish finds a fierce new aesthetic for the disorientation of grief. “Let me paint this / entire country / the colors of your face,” they write, unearthing the wild and shifting scale of mourning. Donish affirms the beauty of their lover’s trans becoming, recalling when they “sounded out / your new potential names / until we found those syllables / that tasted, you said, like honey.” In the sequence “Kelly in Violet,” the centerpiece of this collection, the shattering experience emerges in conversation with the work of Uruguayan poet Marosa di Giorgio, whose words appear in ghostly traces.

Your Dazzling Death ritualizes the work of grief and subverts linear time, asserting that the future will forever be informed by a monumental love that is still alive, not only in the past, but in an imagined space of timelessness where love and grief are inevitably intertwined.

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