Tessa Micaela is the author of there are boxes and there is wanting (Trembling Pillow Press, 2016), and the chapbook Crude Matter (ypolita press, 2016) and co-edits HOLD: a journal. Currently living and working in central Vermont, Tessa practices herbal medicine, and is a midwife-in-training.

Declaration provides solace of structure for o, the book’s enigmatic but adamant speaker who navigates the seams of reality and dream in Tessa Micaela’s where bells begin. In a landscape where “the mist rises from the chemicals bubbling on the surface,” meaning emerges from conditions and point of view. Tense in its strain against the impossibility of building a world from props or propositions alone, this collection enriches a sterile reality with mystic longing. o embodies the lyric gesture, at once feral and epiphanic, while clinging to tactility and community—moving towards a “we.” These poems deny chronology, completion, or sure footing; the reader must continually recalibrate their understanding of o’s circumstances even as o insists on o’s own vulnerability, fear, invisibility, and becoming-ness. The conviction to observe, record, and deconstruct the abstractions of an over-policed, over-graphed world is not only o’s ars-poetica, but an ethical imperative for readers seeking to re-sensitize the soul.