Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigram

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Acknowledgments

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Many thanks to the editors of the following journals in which these poems first appeared, some in slightly different form and under different titles.
American Poetry Review: “Black Hills”; Asheville Poetry Review: “Post-Op”; Blackbird: “Everything Happens to Me”; The Café Review: “Breaking Your Leg in Four Places”; The Common: “Caution in the Windy City, Thrown”; ...

Contents

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pp. 9-12

Recovering (1)

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pp. 15-16

I

Dear Virgo: “I feel sorry for you, friend . . .”

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p. 19

Beginner’s Guide to a Head-On Collision

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p. 20

Grid

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p. 21

Dear Virgo: “It’s not the first time . . .”

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p. 22

Watching Her at the Threshold

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p. 23

Tips on Surviving a Head-On Collision

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p. 24

Dear Virgo: “Fourteen broken ribs . . .”

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p. 25

Jaws of Life

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p. 26

“Poetry is a kind of faith . . .

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p. 27

Dear Virgo: “Your life is like a 4-star hotel .

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p. 28

The Dead Man Returns Disguised as a Tour Guide

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p. 29

Grind

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p. 30

Dear Virgo: “I’m getting tired of telling you . . .”

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p. 31

Post-Op

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p. 32

Shooting Hoops

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pp. 33-34

Recovering (2)

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pp. 35-36

II

Dear Virgo: “It’s hard work getting in one’s own way . . .”

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p. 39

Breaking Your Leg in Four Places

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p. 40

Sideways

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p. 41

Dear Virgo: “Even trampoliners use how-to manuals . . .” .

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p. 42

Ode to the First Crash-Test Dummies

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p. 43

Caution in the Windy City, Thrown

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p. 44

Dear Virgo: “Where were you a year ago? . . .”

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p. 45

L’Shana Tova!

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p. 46

Disgust

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p. 47

Dear Virgo: “Fight or flight, the therapist intones . . .”

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p. 48

Everything Happens to Me

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pp. 49-50

Getting Dirty

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p. 51

Dear Virgo: “This morning you woke . . .”

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p. 52

King of the Rubber Guys

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p. 53

Rebirth at the Balloon Festival

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pp. 54-56

Recovering (3)

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pp. 57-58

III

Dear Virgo: “This is your day, brother . . .”

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p. 61

To You Who Lost Your Father

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p. 62

Three Years Out

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p. 63

Dear Virgo: “You forget, this world is broken . . .”

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p. 64

In Praise of the Ribcage

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p. 65

Back

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p. 66

Dear Virgo: “You were a tourist in the land . . .”

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p. 67

Winter River, Viewed from the Bridge

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p. 68

Changes

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p. 69

Dear Virgo: “The scars, the doorframe . . .”

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p. 70

Chthonic

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p. 71

Ramp

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p. 72

Dear Virgo: “Heart murmurs, thyroids . . .”

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p. 73

On the Way to Spruce Pine

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p. 74

Black Hills

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pp. 75-76

Recovering (4)

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pp. 77-78

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Gratitudes

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pp. 79-81

Ali and Avery, for sharing this amazing ride with me, and allowing me to include you (once again) in these dispatches. I love you both so much.
Marie Harris for her work on the Bruised Heart collaboration and for understanding when I needed to break it. That book lives behind and inside this one. ...

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Biographical Note

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pp. 82-84

Sebastian Matthews is the author of a memoir and three books of poetry. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, The Sun, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. He is currently working on a collection of personal essays and a book of prose poems. ...