An Introduction to Jessica Abughattas by Victoria Chang

I love Jessica Abughattas’s poems. I had the good fortune of writing a blurb for her forthcoming book, Strip, which is a stunning debut. Any subject Abughattas writes about becomes a conundrum in the most beautiful of ways, whether the poet is investigating politics, family, identity, or love. These poems are little apertures that open up, slant, and snap shut, all the while singing. How do these poems both shatter and sing at once? Imagistically, these poems are stunning, as in the poem, “Terrible’s Road House:” “I want a head of hair to bury my face into. My arms can’t hold anything without breaking.” That’s the beauty of these poems, they are trying to reach for something unreachable, and in the process the poems diffuse and evaporate.