Alchemy in a word, in the way a sign is scratched into the wet dirt and the dirt starts to dry and the sign is fixed. When the dirt begins to crumble before the wind, intangible, into dust, someone presses a leaf into the impression to hold it and a page is born. Then another pressing to make sure the first will not disappear. Placed one over the other, the silence between the leaves becomes a portal among the pages, leading the eyes to burrow through the opening. A dazzling. Where one listens and eventually closes one’s eyes, forgetting the frame. Such fragile fasteners hold it together, always in decay like the dry and precarious dirt. But the sounds remain. And the glow of singing between the coherence, spoken into the mind, sometimes through the fingertips, sometimes through the breath.

—Samuel Ace

Samuel Ace (formerly Linda Smukler) is a trans and genderqueer author of three collections of poetry: Normal Sex, Home in three days. Don’t wash., and most recently Stealth, with poet Maureen Seaton. A new book of poems, Our Weather Our Sea, is forthcoming from Black Radish Books in early 2019. Ace is also a visual artist and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund Prize in Poetry, The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry. His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in or is forthcoming from Poetry, Aufgabe, Fence, The Atlas Review, Black Clock, Mandorla, Versal, The Collagist, Posit, Vinyl, Troubling the Line: Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Best American Experimental Poetry 2016, and many other publications. Ace is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Mount Holyoke College.

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