Hands Washing Water (2006)

Hands Washing Water

“Chris Abani’s poetry resonates with a devastating beauty which cuts through to the heart of human strength.”—Pride Hands Washing Water is Chris Abani's fourth poetry collection—a mischievous book of displacement, exile, ancestry, and subversive humor. The central section, “Buffalo Women,” is a Civil War correspondence between lovers that plays on our assumptions about war, gender, morality, and politics.Sweetest Henri,I know we promised to be honest,one to the other, but your recent missive,though welcome as any epistle from you,filled me with a dread that clunglike dampness to wet wood. I am terrifiedfor your immortal soul, dear sweet Henri.This mad war of Lincoln is infecting youwith a sickness too depraved to even address. . .Abani’s writing is ruthless, at times traumatic, and consistently filled with surprising twists and turns.

Author of Hands Washing Water