Somewhere between the stem and the fruit is that paradoxical nexus, the point that is both connection and separation, from where you came, to what you are becoming, the scene of the severing, the letting go, the stepping away, the necessary violence and the radical isolation required to be oneself, wholly. And, perhaps, holy. “The poems are written / before they occur to me,” Gwen Frost declares at the conclusion of her shattering first collection. “Something about a scar, something about a hymn.” She says that poetry saved her life, making this volume a document of that on-going process of healing, and a gift and a hope for others on the same journey. Foremost, it is a document of a contemporary young woman negotiating her way through a perilous world. “Turns out, there are a million different ways to kill a girl,” she observes in “Watch,” a poem that references Hitchcock’s advice to “torture the women” in order to make a popular film, and by extension the misogynistic voyeurism that fetishizes violence against women. This book documents more than a few of those ways, and nowhere more chillingly than in the poem “sticking heads in the sand,” in which the query “How was your summer?” follows up almost casually with another question, “What was your rapist’s name?” In the inventory of anticipated experience for a young woman, “summer love and sexual assault / adventures and attacks” go hand in hand, “heads pushed into sand” both an act of violence and an act of willful forgetting.