"When remorse’s restraint
and destiny lash at your retreat.
When absence releases me,
and loneliness and distance
cease to badger my feelings"

In this bilingual (Spanish and English) poetry book, Braussi, known as the Aztecan Jaguar, combines a refreshingly honest take on the passionate shades of love with a spectacular display of figurative language ranging from majestic phrases of personification to metaphors that imbue the compilation with stirring energy. Though the cover of the book may indicate an overtly sensual piece, Braussi exquisitely builds an almost magical element around the art of sensuality. In particular, phrases like “you approach like a droplet from a spring” and making a “covenant with your eyes” convey the speaker’s pining for his love.

Nestled between the many love poems are deeply thought-provoking pieces like “Enigma” and “Voice of the Soul,” which use repetition to establish a rhythmic cadence through phrases like “Let destiny sentence / those who cannot love.” Other poems like “Tierra Mia” demonstrate that Braussi’s poetry is more than just eloquent stanzas; lines like “enduring the invader as lord and lover” highlight the poet’s depth of thought.

Segueing back to its playful identity, poems like “An Uncommon Species,” which depicts women at their most intoxicating and indecipherable, and “Along Your Shores,” which turns a woman’s body into an ocean to be traversed, are sure to captivate audiences. Nevertheless, as the compilation concludes, a level of maturity is discernible in the speaker. He reflects on his earlier days, and while listing the names of various lovers, comes to understand the pangs of illusion, love, and heartbreak.

While nearly every poem is stellar, this work would be incomplete without the accompanying photos that were conceived by Braussi and executed by Rafi Claudio. Every photo indicates a deeper purpose, especially the photo on page 87 of a creased face with eyes displaying two intertwined lovers. Both entertaining and thoughtful, the poetry is a testament to Braussi’s prowess with the written word.

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