Saturnalia Books, 2010
In Vap's third book of poetry, the language of waiting radiates from the perspective of an expectant mother; the poems occur within the space of possibility for both beauty and peril in the everyday. The language in
these poems is charged: lush and dazzling images spring forth from the waiting mind, the pregnant body. The growing child is named "saint-star, itching pea"; a sonogram depicts a "little crocheted ear." What emerges as truly striking in this collection is Vap's bold embrace of the body; themes of sexuality, fear, and death make stark appearances throughout, and the darker evocations of pregnancy—words such as tentacle, strangehold, explosion, daemon—counterbalance the delicate dreaminess of love and giving life. In "By Silence," Vap writes
Once by fire. Once by water.
I wanted you by commotion. By the hem
of sunlight across your father's wrist. I wanted
you there, embroidered
to the curtain, brushing his shoulder. There, his beard
where—he whispers, does he? Io. Io,
the consistency of oil—most exploding
object in our solar system. We were led to you
The act of sequential prayer, the rosary, subtly connects the poems—a linking couplet serves as a "bead," providing a refrain, a sense of chronology, a constant.