A Response to the 2018 IPCC Report

Katie Marya

for KSH and MIH

I look at your daughter and feelcavernous—big face of time.I miss my ex-husband and the childwe didn't have. I envy how the heavyyou which is the heavy mehas found a solvent place in your body.How your daughter's desire to lookand eat and wobble and sing treeis curative, is balm, the good fat,the exhaustion of living that turnsus to sleep. Cells divide and makea human, make skin, make avocadomushed into her bright nose. A babyis the acceptance of time. The fearof time narrowed if the body is ableto focus on the body. I read the report,too. The one that says the margins will bethe first to go, the mothers and fatherson land's edge: New Orleans, Haiti,the small wedge of Georgia where mybrother lives. I wish light had a voice,a sound. I wish it would say out loud:I am a lover. Why do we have eyesif we must close them to see? Please,light, make a sound. You wrote let mebelieve the work I do can bringthe future into the room. Whether itdoes or not. Whether it does or not.

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Katie Marya is a writer and literary translator. Her debut poetry collection Sugar Work was the Editor’s Choice for the Alice James Book Award and was published in June 2022. She lives in Lincoln, NE where she is finishing a PhD in Creative Writing and working on a second book about drumming and fentanyl. Her work can be found in literary journals such as Guernica, Fence, North American Review, Waxwing, Five Points, and on the poetry podcast The Slowdown.

“Marya's debut lands in the gorgeous, messy place where the sacred and profane overlap. Sugar Work has a compelling narrative bent and generous eyes, stunning in its southern reality and recognition of suffering and work. Marya is a psychologically astute poet, a bright new talent in touch with her own humanity and that of others—allowing strippers dignity on stage, and looking upon addicts and her own young self with nuance and compassion.”
—Megan Mayhew Bergman

"There’s something about Katie Marya’s writing in Sugar Work that takes your breath away."
—Jordan Zachary, Southern Review of Books

Sugar Work demonstrates the astonishing resilience of the writer’s psyche, and makes deeply American poetry out of the strip club, the born-again, the mob trial, the Vegas sun, and most tenderly, of the mother’s body revealed, concealed, loved and examined under the watchful eye of a truly gifted writer. These are rigorous, vivid, memorable poems and this book is a remarkable and important debut.”
—Mark Wunderlich

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