I have learned three things in the north:
The sea has a lung,
The dead do not eat grass, nor
Do they return.
—from “The Origin of Salt” In these poems, Jo Sarzotti portrays a personal geography ranging from the desert of the title to the far north, from the mother to the father. In between are found ocean floor, mountain peak, jungle, beach, ancient and modern cities, as well as animal and human companions, including the famous or notorious. With emotional clarity and beauty, Sarzotti's debut is uncompromising in its craft and evocative in its imagistic power.