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By Natalie Scenters-Zapico

From undocumented males named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s gripping debut assortment, The Verging Cities, is stuffed with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels within the family sphere. Deeply rooted alongside the US-México border within the sister towns of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, those poems provide a courageous new voice to the ways that overseas politics have an effect on the person. Composed in quite a few kinds, from sonnet and epithalamium to endnotes and box notes, each one poem distills violent tales of narcos, undocumented immigrants, border patrol brokers, and the folks who fall in love with one another and their traumas.

The border in Scenters-Zapico’s The Verging Cities exists in a visceral position the place the true is (sur)real. In those poems mouths converse suspended from ceilings, numbered steel poles mark the border and fanatics’ spines, and towns scream to one another at evening via fences that “ooze simply silt.” This daring new imaginative and prescient of border existence among what has been named the most secure urban within the usa and the homicide capital of the realm is in deep dialog with different border poets—Benjamin Alire Saenz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alberto Ríos, and Luis Alberto Urrea—while constructing itself as a brand new and haunting interpretation of the border as a verge, the start of 1 factor and the top of one other in consistent cycle.

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