"Exit" is a poem about sickness and recovery, and the urge to escape the conditions and bodies by which we are bound. I'm taken by the ideas of genetic memory (the common experiences of a species becoming part of its genetic code) and tropism (the turning or orienting of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus) as both theories for explaining the migratory patterns of the monarch and, in this particular application, for understanding the human body in the context of eating disorders and addiction. In the case of the monarch, leaving is a kind of returning, arriving somewhere it's yet been, but still returns to year after year, generation after generation, 'guided' by something—genetic impulse, maybe, or light; for the speaker, though remaining contained by the same body, a kind of exit-and-arrival is experienced in the process of recovery, in the


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pp. 163-165
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