The incandescent poems in Once explore violence, loss, and recovery. Invoking both the personal and the civic self, they chart uncertain new beginnings in a shattered nation. What emerges is both a poignant meditation on a daughter's relationship with her mother and a citizen's relationship to her country. from "Frontier" . . . At times, I felt sick, intoxicated by BPA and mercury. At other times I fasted and the stars stumbled clear from the vault. Up there, the universe stands around drunk. I hope the Lord is kind to us, for we engrave our every mistake . . .