Susanna Childress writes with an earnest desire to understand things physical and things spiritual. What results is a first collection of provocative, honest poetry that explores various human predicaments: a cancer-ridden wife, an explosive father, an infertile couple, various sexual aggressors, a missing girl. Such careful portraiture provokes the reader to consider the complexity of human love: how selfishness, fear, lust and even brutality might coincide with tenderness and loyalty. Ms. Childress's writing is refreshingly naive and clear, her voice essentially inquisitive. She is brave enough to look at the darkness of the world, but she is more courageous to hope.